SEATTLE (AP) – A federal judge in Seattle is hearing arguments over the city’s first-in-the-nation law giving Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers the ability to form a union.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sued to block the law before a Monday deadline for the companies to provide information about their most active drivers to the Teamsters union, which has been selected to represent the drivers. In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik on Thursday afternoon, Christian Vergonis, a lawyer for the chamber, said that information is a closely guarded trade secret.
The chamber argues that law is trumped by federal antitrust and labor law.
The Seattle City Council unanimously passed its law in late 2015. It went into effect without the signature of Mayor Ed Murray, who worried about defending the ordinance in court. The city’s lawyers argue that the law is not pre-empted by federal law, and that allowing drivers to bargain over their working conditions will make them more safe and reliable.