Aug 25, 2017

Judge upholds Seattle law allowing ride-hailing drivers to unionize

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.

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."