All over the Country, people are trying to force Unionization of companies like Uber, Lyft, SideCar and other technology based companies that use SmartPhone Applications to provide services to their clientele. There is much opposition to this from most of the affected companies and local politicians. Unionization of these workers could take years to form to provide protections needed by the workers yesterday. Is there an alternative means of resolving this issue now, you bet there is!
Almost every city that the TNC companies serve has a Transportation Authority that regulates Taxi and Limousine services. This same agency has the authority to regulate all of the TNC companies also. These Transportation Authorities currently set rates and fares for both Taxi and Limousine services and were they to do the same for the TNC companies they could in effect regulate rates, fares, disciplinary reviews, association membership and representation, vehicle inspections, reimbursements, hours of service, and darn near any other concern of the drivers. Why is this important?
Most of the Transportation Authorities have authority to do almost any regulation they desire without even a Court Order. It is built into the laws that provide the authority for these agencies and if you look at their web sites it appears as though they are the true authority over the TNC’s:
The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, in addition to authorizing video franchises. Our five Governor-appointed Commissioners, as well as our staff, are dedicated to ensuring that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting against fraud, and promoting the health of California’s economy.
The CPUC plays a key role in making California a national and international leader on a number of clean energy related initiatives and policies designed to benefit consumers, the environment, and the economy. The CPUC is also at the forefront of communications issues and has developed a Consumer Protection Initiative to empower consumers and prevent fraud in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry.
On this website you’ll find information about these initiatives and the many other efforts underway at the CPUC.
**The preceding from the “About Us” page of the California Public Utilities Commission
It appears to us that the CPUC in the State of California as a matter of regular business (because they have already had to do so in the case of Taxis and Limousines) that they could call a session and propose rule changes that are of serious concerns to the drivers and companies much simpler than the required legal actions allowing the formation of unions to negotiate resolution.
DO NOT misunderstand, we are not opposed to the formation of unions or associations. We are opposed to the continued exploitation of drivers by Uber. We are opposed to the continuing falsifications presented to government that mislead the government to believe nothing is wrong. We are opposed to the deterioration of workers rights that appear to be the future for the American Worker should Uber be allowed to continue their present path. And, it is our belief that the Transportation Authorities nation-wide have the ability to cause correction of many of the important issues. Yes, we support “regulation” of the Transportation Network Companies and strongly suggest any agency or organization concerned with the issues impacting the TNC’s consider how much of these issues can be resolved by regulation.
The Transportation Authorities already have authority to set rates and fares, set hours of service, require background and vehicle inspections, specify what types of vehicles to be used, and a few other issues. This is their job. This is what the Tax Payer pays them for. Why is this agency not being held accountable for regulation of the TNC’s? Or a better question . . . Why are these agencies being prevented from doing their jobs?
If you give it a moments thought . . . When Unionization does happen and negotiations settled, will Uber still be able to operate outside of the Transportation Authority regulation allowing Uber to operate contrary to transportation rules by binding contract with the drivers? Is that what we really want? If ever a company has demonstrated the need for regulation, it is Uber. The State needs to regulate Uber for the protection of the State. The Country needs to see regulation imposed on Uber for the protection of the American Worker. And, the drivers need the regulation of Uber so that we can sleep at night without concern of being “UberScrewed” overnight. Get Transportation Authorities involved and make it happen.