Driving Public Good

How Collective Bargaining Can Increase Reliability & Safety in the Seattle For-Hire Transportation System

November 2015 - “Our research shows that when workers in the transportation sector join together and advocate as a group for better work conditions, that actually has the positive effect of making the transportation system safer and more reliable,” said Rebecca Saldaña, Executive Director of Puget Sound Sage, which released the report in conjunction with Partnership for Working Families.

“Benefits like increased wages, paid sick days and additional training mean that drivers are more experienced, better rested and less likely to interrupt service over labor disputes.”

Driving Public Good details how giving workers a voice on the job can address many of the issues that create problems for drivers.

This includes driver fatigue and driving safety, spread of illness between drivers and passengers, driver experience, cost of rides and work stoppages.

The report release comes as Seattle’s City Council prepares to vote on legislation that would afford all for-hire drivers in the city – including Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers – the right to a collective voice on the job, regardless of employment status.

Currently, many taxi and app-based drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. While this status is being hotly contested in legal battles across the country, Seattle’s innovative legislation would allow the city to improve transit reliability and safety in the current legal environment.