What a victory! The New York Taxi Workers Alliance worked with a group of Uber drivers in California to file objections to this lousy settlement. And today, the settlement was officially rejected by the Judge.
Under the settlement, the attorney agreed to no longer fight Uber on misclassification of drivers as independent contractors, denying them basic employee rights such as minimum wage and reimbursement for expenses under California law. Uber also had to pay only $84 million – a fraction of what it owed to the drivers – AND hold off on paying another $16 million until and only if it became a publicly traded company.
Can you imagine a $64-billion valuated Wall Street baby got to put a condition on paying back workers until it got richer.
The settlement was also the blueprint for the sham company union announced just after this settlement, between Uber and its new bidding partner – the Independent Drivers Guild in NYC.
An organization of 200 Uber drivers in Silicon Valley, California talked to their Taxi Worker friends about the union helping to challenge the settlement. Drivers felt deeply betrayed and wanted to fight. They were amazing. At a time when Uber and its deep-pocketed friends thought workers had been squashed and unions had been bought, courageous Uber drivers across California stood up, fought back and today, they see the fruits of their courage. For us, there is an undeniable beauty that the largest group of Uber drivers to stand up, leaned on Taxi Workers for solidarity and together, we organized. In a state where Ubernomics and the share-the-scraps economy have destroyed full-time work, have left taxi workers in deeper poverty and despair than anywhere else, the Silicon Valley Taxi Workers Alliance thought only of driver solidarity. Anyone who thinks Uber can defeat that solidarity doesn’t know the power of the workers.