I am a bit curious about the many Associations that have popped up for the Ride-Hail/RideShare Driver. How many of these Associations are actually Associations. I mean bonafide lawful Associations. In order for an Association to be legal it is necessary that it actually be registered as a business. Most Associations are Corporations that require a Board of Directors and an assembly of Association Officers. Associations are required to have a Tax Structure that designates the Association profit or non-profit. An Association requires a Business License and an address where the business is conducted. An Association is required to submit Corporate and Tax documents on a regular basis. And, an Association has to maintain a listing of membership that will provide for accurate voting by the membership on issues relative to the collective of drivers. I believe that the Association structure is the only legal way to represent a membership of Independent Contractors in the Courts or in contract negotiations. Of course I may be wrong, but I do not believe so.
A FaceBook Group is not an Association. It is a Group that has lots of members that may or may not even be using their legal name, may have multiple accounts under different names, and does not provide any method of conducting a recordable vote to demonstrate the desires of the membership. A FaceBook Group is not a lawful business and I suspect most are not any form of legal entity that would allow for the lawful representation of Independent Contractors. A FaceBook Group is a very valuable virtual community that does serve a real purpose if used as an ongoing communication platform between drivers that want to discuss issues relative to the job or keep abreast of news affecting the job.
I see very few actual Associations. I see Groups that have the ability to disrupt their local community, but few if any have the legal vote or ability to represent the Independent Contractor Driver for the Industry in which we work. You have to understand that before your organization to represent anybody it must be a legal organization. Any organization not an actual lawful organization that represents themselves as representative of anybody can be prohibited from giving any form of deposition or testimony before the Courts or Legislature and does not have the authority to enter into any form of contract negotiation.
So say you are running a FaceBook Group and you are successful in doing so, how do you convert your Group into a lawful Association capable of representation of the drivers?
- You form a lawful non-profit organization
- You select an initial Board of Directors
- You hold a meeting in which your membership elects to confirm your Board, approve the name of your organization, approve the business location, approve the organizations By-Laws, decide on dues or no dues membership, and any other loose ends necessary to commence lawful business as an Association.
- You submit your necessary documents to government agency as required and obtain local business license for your business location.
- Then after spending the money to do all of this, you have to ask where the money is coming from.
Or, you bring your Group to a lawful Association that can serve to represent you in Legislation and Contract Negotiation. Unless you folks know of some law that says otherwise, this is the only legal way to represent Independent Contractor Drivers.
I see there are quite a few FaceBook Groups that are not lawful Associations but are doing a fine job of mustering the drivers to a community environment where the exchange of information is excellent and all have the same common goal, unification of drivers. That is the goal of every lawful Association also. So if you are running a FaceBook Group, keep running your Group, but have your membership join a lawful Association so that the Association can move forward to represent you. And, I do not care which lawful Association you join, just join one. The drivers failure to be part of an Association is what is holding the Associations from being a help to the drivers, this is how Uber is beating us. And, joining an Association does not in any way effect a FaceBook Groups ongoing activities. What joining an Association does is unifies driver voice and allows the Association to get your voice to the Legislature and the negotiating table.