Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law.
According to a letter filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday, Uber will have to give new workers an opportunity to vote in a representation election as part of collective bargaining with its Seattle-based drivers, who voted overwhelmingly to unionize back in May.
The NLRB decision comes after workers in the New York district where the alleged unfair labor practices took place filed a lawsuit on Monday in a Brooklyn federal court.
“If drivers can’t unionize, they will never be able to negotiate an effective contract,” Andy Puzder, the president of CKE Restaurants, a fast-casual restaurant chain known for its chicken parmesan, said at the time.
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“The stakes could not be higher for the integrity of unionization in this country than they are right now, or they should be.”
Uber has insisted that the NLRB’s decision was a final, binding determination that the union election was a sham. Uber didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The NLRB didn’t issue an opinion on the Uber union election, but issued a statement saying that it “categorically rejects the ‘per se’ claim that an automatic, one-year expiration date is a violation of federal labor law.”
The decision was issued in connection with a complaint filed by the Local 32BJ division, one of the largest union groups in the country based in New York City. Under the law, the union can file a representation complaint with the NLRB, and the NLRB has 10 days to respond to it. If there is a substantial question of whether a union election had been conducted in accordance with the law, the NL