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I support Uber and Lyft drivers organizing for better pay and treatment

I stand with hardworking Uber and Lyft drivers who are courageously shining a light on some of the most exploitative working conditions in Seattle and nationwide. The report that the drivers brought to City Hall today (May 30), published by the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA), an affiliate of Teamsters Local 117, shows that Uber and Lyft are taking an extraordinary 31 cents for every dollar that a driver earns, while requiring the drivers to foot all the costs of maintaining the vehicle, such as fuel, lease payments, repairs, parking, tickets, taxes, and plates.

The drivers’ report builds on a national report last year that shows that on average, Uber drivers are paid below minimum wage.

Uber and Lyft executives love to boast about their innovation, but there’s nothing new or innovative about exploiting workers. They’re basically running sweatshops on wheels, gussied-up with fancy slogans and 21st Century smartphone apps. It’s absolutely shameful.

Congratulations to the app-based drivers and the Teamster union, who are continuing to organize and fight back, in Seattle and elsewhere. Last year, New York City drivers – organized with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance – won stunning victories against the big corporations, including the first minimum wage law in the country for app-based drivers! My office will, as always, fight alongside drivers in the Seattle region to achieve the same standards, and to help unionize gig economy workers.

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