In order for the US RIDE-HAIL DRIVER’S ASSOCIATION to even try to represent Drivers in government or contract matters, the Association must have a significant membership. You cannot say you represent a specific class of workers when you have less than 1000 members. 1.) The largest issue in obtaining members is fear of reprisal by the parent companies. Almost every driver believes that they will be terminated for joining an Association. They know reprisals are illegal, they know we are allowed by law to form such association, and they know Travis Kalanick does not give a damn about the law. (Their words, not mine) 2.) Many drivers do not understand that although we cannot form a Union, we can form an Association. And, 3.) The social media applications and websites relative to the Ride-Hail companies are frequented by “shills’ and “trolls” quick to denounce any positive effort.
Initial attempts to acquire members has been met with resistance for a couple reasons: 1.) People do not believe we can make a difference. 2.) Others have tried forming an Association, charged dues, and have not been successful in doing anything. 3.) Many people do not believe that Drivers can be coordinated enough to get any progressive movement going. 3.) Most of the driver classes are still able to make decent money. It is the UberX level that is hurt the worst, and the upper levels are too busy crowing how well they are doing to support UberX.
We have even made it open membership for everybody at no cost to the member. This may be having a negative effect as people may feel that if it was a service of value we would have to charge:
The reality of the matter is that rather than have the member’s money, we need his/her membership to serve as a vote to allow us to serve as the driver representative in dealings with the government and the Ride-Hail employers. Presently, the Ride-Hail Driver is being made subject to laws and regulation in many States and Cities nationwide. The people sitting at the table making those laws and regulations are not drivers and they do not care about how their policy affects drivers. Each person at the table is serving only their agenda. Nobody is speaking up for what we consider important, we are not represented by anybody.
These changes to law and policy, coupled with expected decisions from two class-action Court Cases will require a rewrite to our Independent Contractors contract. We have never had the opportunity to try to bargain any portion of our contract with our Employers, leaving us with a very poor contract at every rewrite. As this next rewrite will probably come subsequent to the class-action lawsuits, it may be the most important contract to be written. Many of us do not want to be Uber or Lyft employees for any reason. We would, however, like to work as Independent Contractors with a fair and reasonable contract. We need to be able to sit our representative at the negotiation table for this to happen.
Failures of prior Associations are likely due to one reason. They have an insufficient membership. To be effective in any way, an Association needs to be supported by a large membership. nobody wants to go on strike or call a work slow down. But if it were to become necessary to do so, enough drivers as members to make any such attempt feasible would have to be in the thousands of members, not in the hundreds.
To put our Association in a position that would allow us to claim representation of drivers, two things need to happen: 1.) More membership. 2.) The membership will have to vote to make this Association their representative.
So, what is holding us back? Membership! I ask all current members to take every opportunity to solicit people to become members of this Association. If nothing else we are trying to make an effort to improve all of our lives and presently it costs them nothing but a few minutes to sign up. Feel free to leave comments below.