SEATTLE (CBS) — On Monday, Seattle became the first city in the U.S. to allow drivers of ride share and on-demand driver companies to unionize.

The Seattle City Council voted 8-0 in favor of the legislation, according to CBS News. The companies affected — Uber, Lyft, and others — are expected to challenge the vote.

“We’ve heard from Seattle drivers making sub-minimum wage, and companies like Uber have turned a deaf ear to their concerns,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien said in a press release. “This bill was only introduced out of necessity after witnessing how little power drivers themselves had in working for a living wage.”

Following the vote, a Lyft spokesperson told CBS News:

“We urge the Mayor and full Council to reconsider this legislation and listen to the voices of their constituents who choose to drive with Lyft because of the flexible economic opportunity it offers.”

Before the vote, Uber board member David Plouffe called the proposal “flatly illegal.”

The National Labor Relations Act does not extend to private contractors, meaning drivers for Uber and other ride share companies do not receive benefits and can’t unionize.


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