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UBERUSA,LLC

RASIER,LLC
1455MARKETSTREET
SANFRANCISCO,CA94103

BrookeSteger
GeneralManager
brooke@uber.com

February24,2016

FredPodesta
Director,FinanceandAdministrativeServices
SeattleMunicipalTower
7005thAve
Suite5200
Seattle,WA98104

Re:RulemakingUnderOrdinanceNumber124968

DearMr.Podesta:

UberUSA,LLCandRasier,LLC(collectively,Uber)writetosetoutfourkey
principlesthatwebelieveshouldguidetheDepartmentofFinanceandAdministrativeServices
(FAS)asitinitiatestherulemakingrequiredbyrecentlyenactedOrdinanceNumber124968
(Ordinance)relatingtocollectivebargainingbyindependentcontractorforhiredriversin
Seattle.1

OnlybyfocusingonwhatmattersmostcanFASsuccessfullyensurethatitsrulesallow
alldriverstotomakeaninformedchoiceaboutrepresentation.WhileUberlooksforwardto
workingwithFASintherulemakingtocome,FASshouldadoptthefollowingfourcore
principlestoensurefairnessindecisionsthatwillimpactthelivelihoodofthousands:

Everyaffecteddrivershouldhavetherighttovote.

Everyaffecteddrivershouldbefullyinformedbeforevoting.

Everyvoteshouldbefairlycounted.

FASshouldlooktotheNationalLaborRelationsBoard(NLRB)rulesandcaselaw
forguidanceinitsrulemaking.

EveryAffectedDriverShouldHavetheRighttoVote

FASmustensurethatitsrulesembodythequintessentialAmericanprincipleof
oneperson,onevote:
Every
forhiredriverinSeattleshouldhaveavoiceindeterminingthe
1

Ubercontinuestobelievethattheordinanceasenactedisunlawfulunderbothstateandfederallaw.Nothingin
thislettershouldbeconstruedasawaiverbyUberofitsrighttochallengetheordinancetothecontrary,Uber
expresslyreservesitsrighttoassertallofitsclaimsanddefensesagainsttheCitytothefullextentauthorizedby
federalandstatelaw.

UBERUSA,LLC
RASIER,LLC
1455MARKETSTREET
SANFRANCISCO,CA94103

BrookeSteger
GeneralManager
brooke@uber.com

exclusiverepresentativeofalldriversinterests.

FASisempoweredtodeterminewhocounts
asaqualifyingdriverandcanvoteforanExclusiveDriverRepresentative(EDR).Seattle
Muni.Code6.310.110.

TheordinanceauthorizestheEDRtoactasthesoleandexclusive
representativeof
all
forhiredriversoperatingwithintheCityforaparticulardrivercoordinator.
Id.
(emphasisadded).AlldriverswhoareeligibletoprovideforhireservicesinSeattleandwho
willberepresentedbyanEDRincollectivebargainingshouldthereforebeabletovoteforor
againstanentityseekingtobecomeanEDRtorepresentthemanddirectlyaffecttheirabilityto
earnaliving.

AllowingallforhiredriversavoiceinselectinganEDRisfullyconsistentwiththe
Ordinance.Initspreamble,theOrdinancestatesthatitspurposeistoensuresafeandreliable
forhireandtaxicabtransportationservice.Forthatreason,whendeterminingwhoshouldbe
qualifiedtovote,FASmustconsideranyfactorsthatindicateadriversworkissignificant
enoughtoaffectthesafetyandreliabilityofforhiretransportation.
Id.
Anydriverwhois
eligibletoprovideforhireservicesinSeattlecouldaffectsafetybecauseheorshecantakea
forhiretripatanytime.ThisispreciselywhySeattlesforhirerulesrequiresafetymeasures
likedriverbackgroundchecksandvehicleinspectionstooccur
before
adrivercantakeevena
singletrip.Moreover,thereliabilityofforhiretransportationisdirectlyaffectedbyalldrivers,
includingthosewhodriveonlyinfrequently.Forexample,inthetransportationnetwork
companymodel,itispreciselythoselessfrequentdriverswhocanmeethigherdemandand
ensurereliabilityatbusytimeslikeweekendeveningsoronNewYearsEve.

Ensuringthatalldrivershaveanopportunitytovoteisalsofullyconsistentwiththe
approachtakenbytheNLRBfordecades.UndertheNLRBrulesandcaselaw,thestandard
approachisthat
all
employeeswhoaresubjecttothetermsofanycollectivebargaining
agreementincludinganobligationtopayunionduesasaconditionofemploymentare
eligibletovoteinaunionelection.Thereisoftenavigorousdebateaboutthesizeandscopeof
thebargainingunit,butthesetofindividualswhocanvoteisalwayscoextensivewiththesetof
individualssubjecttothenegotiatedagreement.Thisisbecauseeveryaffectedworkershould
haveavoiceinchoosingarepresentative.

EveryAffectedDriverShouldbeFullyInformedBeforeVoting

AnelectedEDRwillnegotiaterulesthatcoulddirectlyaffectthelivelihoodofthousands
ofdrivers.EntitiesseekingtobecomeanEDRwillhavetheopportunitytomakethecasefor
whydriversshouldchoosethem,butshouldalsoprovideotherrelevantinformation.Ata
minimum,FASshouldrequirethesepotentialEDRstoinformdriversaboutthefollowing:(1)
anyduesadriverwilloweapotentialEDR(2)thedetailsofapotentialEDRsbylawsandits
officers(3)anypendingorrecentlegalclaimsagainstapotentialEDRand(4)thestateofa
2

UBERUSA,LLC
RASIER,LLC
1455MARKETSTREET
SANFRANCISCO,CA94103

BrookeSteger
GeneralManager
brooke@uber.com

potentialEDRsfinances.Driversshouldalsobeguaranteedtheabilitytoparticipateinthe
governanceoftheEDRtoensurethatitreflectsthedriversconcernsandnotmerelytheEDRs.

EveryVoteShouldbeFairlyCounted

FASshouldensurethatstatementsofinterestsubmittedbydriversarevalidandverified.
UndertheOrdinance,FASmustdeterminebyrulethestandardsandproceduresforsubmitting
andverifyingstatementsofinterestbyqualifyingdrivers.SeattleMuni.Code6.310.735.F.1.
TheOrdinancecallsforsubmissionofwrittenstatementsofinterestbydriversratherthansecret
ballotvote.Thus,itisimperativethatFASvalidatethestatementsofinterestandensurethey
accuratelyreflectthewillofthedrivers.Toensurethateverydriversvoiceisheard,FASshould
closelyscrutinizeandcounteachindividualstatement.Techniqueslikesignatureverification
againstdriverslicensescanhelpassurethatthewillofthedriversisreflectedinthevoting
process.

FASShouldLooktotheNLRBRulesandCaseLawforGuidanceinitsRulemaking

FAShasmeremonthstocompletearulemakingaddressingallaspectsofcollective
bargainingforforhiredriversinSeattle.Bycontrast,theNLRBhasdevelopedits
comprehensivesetofrulesgoverningunionelectionsandcollectivebargainingamongcovered
employeesoverthe80yearssinceCongressenactedthefederalNationalLaborRelationsAct.
TheNLRBsRulesandRegulationsalonetakeupthreevolumesandprovide160pagesof
detailedrulesforpracticebeforetheagency.FASshouldleveragetheexistingand
wellunderstoodNLRBrulesandusethemasguidepostsasitdevelopsregulationstoimplement
theOrdinance.

Welookforwardtoengagingintheupcomingrulemakingtoensurethatalldriverscan
makeafullyinformedchoiceaboutrepresentation.

Sincerely,

/s/BrookeSteger

BrookeSteger
GeneralManager