Author: Stephanie

Uber’s “historic” settlement with the union raises the question: did the company violate federal law?

Uber’s “historic” settlement with the union raises the question: did the company violate federal law?

Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law.

In November, Uber and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) announced that they had reached tentative agreement on a new $7 billion labor deal, covering some 8,200 Uber drivers. The deal was considered a “historic” one when it was signed, and Uber has since maintained the deal was fair, especially among employees who had been affected by the company’s past anti-union actions.

On February 14, 2017, Uber drivers launched a new class action lawsuit against Uber, alleging that the company willfully violated federal law by illegally conspiring with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an “investigation” into complaints from U.S. antitrust regulators and the competition group Public Knowledge.

Uber’s decision to join the lawsuit, and its ‘historic’ settlement with the union, raised the question: did the company’s settlement violate federal law?

At the time Uber joined the lawsuit, the question was moot, as neither the DOJ nor a federal judge had jurisdiction over Uber.

Even though the lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York, it was transferred to federal court the same day at the request of DOJ officials.

The case now appears to be headed to arbitration.

In a complaint filed in March, the plaintiffs — the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 2-A, the Local 2-A Teamsters, and the U.S. Unions at Uber — claim in the arbitration proceeding that Uber violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act.

The plaintiffs seek to invalid the agreement. They also seek an award of back pay. The union claims that it has been “directly and illegally harmed by the defendants’ actions and omissions,” and seek damages in the hundreds of millions.

Uber filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that both parties are subject to arbitration, and that the company is protected by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The plaintiffs countered with a motion for a preliminary injunction, which requests a temporary restraining order that would bar Uber from removing their drivers from its platform.

“Uber’s attempt to enforce illegal antitrust and labor agreements through arbitration is unprecedented and threatens to undermine the integrity of labor arbitration proceedings,”

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