Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law.
Uber’s union contract reached by members of the National Labor Relations Board in October has become the subject of a lawsuit filed by drivers, as well as a class-action lawsuit filed by workers against Uber and its parent company, Alphabet. The new lawsuit alleges that the company’s drivers were illegally locked out on Oct. 7, or the day after the union vote, when Uber drivers were told that they weren’t able to pick up passengers that day and that the company would hold a second vote on a new contract.
Uber argues that the drivers have no right to unionize and that their contract was valid, so it was locked out of the union vote. Uber claims drivers would have had to join the union first and therefore wouldn’t be eligible to vote, which is why drivers allegedly wanted to vote with the union and were locked out for more than a week after the vote.
In response to the lawsuit, Uber said, “The company will vigorously defend itself against this baseless lawsuit and is committed to remaining in compliance with the National Labor Relations Act and our labor agreements.”
The company is now seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that drivers had the right to unionize and that drivers were forced out of the union vote after a week of negotiations. The company additionally filed a motion to dismiss the class-action suit, arguing that employees could not file a class-action lawsuit when they can’t individually prove that the contract was a violation of the law because no one can prove that the drivers were locked out due to any of the contractual or policy reasons described in the complaint.
The complaint argues that Uber drivers had the right to unionize.
“I’ve been driving Uber since February 2015,” the complaint reads. “I’ve been offered the opportunity to join an Uber driver’s union. However, I was never told that by joining the union, I would not be able to deliver passengers