Uber's Major Step Forward for Workers

Article/Op-Ed in CNN
MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com
May 25, 2016

Natalie Foster wrote for CNN about Uber's recognition of a new workers rights organization:

In April, Uber's settlement of a major class action lawsuit with drivers in California and Massachusetts sparked a lot of headlines: A $100 million price tag tends to do that.

But earlier this month, in another deal that may well be far more significant, Uber recognized a new worker association called the Independent Drivers Guild, recently formed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the New York labor union representing black car drivers in New York. This contemporary spin on an 11th century guild structure has the potential to be a critical step toward a 21st century safety net for American workers' real lives today, because it could very well lead to a workable model to provide portable benefits to gig economy workers.

The formation of the Independent Drivers Guild, as one of the first concrete breakthroughs on the path to portable benefits and protections for independent workers, could change the landscape of contingent work. While the guild's leaders are still working out the details, it will have the ability to offer its members a range of benefits and protections, such as access to health insurance, workers' compensation, access to retirement savings and more.