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Richard Vogel / AP

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a group of drivers challenging a new Seattle law that will allow ride-hailing drivers to unionize, according to Geekwire. The judge also lifted an injunction on the law that stemmed from a similar lawsuit.

Why it matters: As independent contractors, drivers for services like Uber and Lyft can't unionize and bargain collectively. The companies have resisted most labor regulations or restrictions when it comes to drivers, including benefits and fingerprinting requirements. Uber unsuccessfully tried to challenge the law earlier this year.

  • The lawsuit was filed by a group of drivers who claimed that "Seattle's law violates federal labor law as well as their First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association by forcing them to unionize and pay dues," as Geekwire notes.
  • The ride-hailing companies will now have to hand over contact information for their drivers so that labor organizations that want to potentially represent them can contact them to garner support for a union vote.

"The original ordinance passed by the City Council was never about benefiting drivers, but about helping Teamsters and taxi companies," said Uber Pacific Northwest general manager Brooke Steger.

"Lyft continues to believe this ordinance could undermine the flexibility of drivers to choose when, where and for how long they drive -- the very things that make Lyft so attractive to drivers and useful for passengers," said Lyft in a statement.

The story has been updated with a statement from Uber.

Go deeper

17 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.