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unions

After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Passengers who use the ride-hailing app Uber will now have the option to tip their driver.

The company has refused to offer it until now, even though drivers have long requested it and competing app Lyft already allows tipping.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been hearing stories about people adapting to a changing economy for our series Brave New Workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Do I still see myself as a cowboy? Yeah, I do, and I hope I always do.

Public utility commissioners in Chelan County, Washington, take a high stakes vote Monday that could influence whether the aluminum industry and its well-paid, blue collar jobs make a comeback in the Pacific Northwest.

Unionized pilots at Alaska Airlines and recently acquired Virgin America pulled off a virtual barrel roll Wednesday to get management's attention. The union complains that talks to combine both pilot groups under what they hope will be a more generous joint contract aren't moving fast enough.

Should Uber drivers unionize in Seattle?

Apr 17, 2017
After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Bill Radke speaks with Fusion's senior editor Felix Salmon about the effort to unionize Uber drivers in Seattle. Radke also speaks with anti-union driver Debra Jeffs-Grad and pro-union driver Takele Gobena. 

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The city of Seattle's law to let Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers form a union has been halted in federal court. The law is the first of its kind in the nation.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The global ride-hailing company Uber is suing the city of Seattle. Uber is challenging new city rules that allow for-hire drivers to unionize.

After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Uber and Lyft drivers will decide this spring on whether to form a union. This week, the city of Seattle finalized which drivers will get to voice their opinion.

Uber officials aren't happy.

UW unions call for stronger campus protections for immigrants.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Several unions at the University of Washington are calling for stronger protections for immigrants and minority groups. It’s part of a so-called sanctuary movement on campuses across the country following the presidential election. 

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Donald Trump’s pick as secretary of labor is a fast-food CEO. And that’s got labor leaders concerned.

Andrew Puzder heads the parent company for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. And he's against a proposal to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Uber drivers packed themselves into a public hearing hosted by the City of Seattle Tuesday. The topic: an ordinance that lets drivers vote on whether to unionize.

The debate now is over which drivers will get to vote on whether to form a union. The city's proposal would give most drivers a vote, except those that only give a few rides a week.

Brittany Johnson says the Freedom Foundation contacted her by mail to tell her she didn't have to be a member of SEIU. She said it was never clear how the right-wing organization got her information, and she wants her privacy.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

UPDATE 10/31/16, 2 p.m. 

On Friday the Washington state Attorney General’s Office said it filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court against the Freedom Foundation for campaign finance violations. The attorney general specifically said Freedom Foundation had failed to report its spending to oppose Initiative 1501.


Washington Republicans say the way state employees collectively bargain pay and benefits is not transparent and presents a conflict of interest.

The road that winds around Sea-Tac Airport.
Flickr Photo/Ping Li (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/2aPcgPp

Last month, the Port of Seattle chose a new taxi company to serve Sea-Tac Airport. East Side For Hire won the exclusive contract.

The change happened quietly in the middle of last month. But the Port Commission meeting yesterday was anything but quiet.


Local Wonder bill radke
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Chris P. works full-time for Uber in Seattle, including long shifts on the weekends. The rest of the week, he’s a stay-at-home dad. He likes the job, but he hopes a union could get him more stability. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders went out of his way Sunday to find praise for the Democratic party's platform drafting committee, but there is one major sticking point: The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sanders wants the final platform to unequivocally oppose the free-trade deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration, saying it "threatens our democracy" in an op-ed published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday.

Nearly 40,000 workers at Verizon have gone on strike, objecting to, among other things, outsourcing and temporary location transfers.

The two unions representing Verizon workers say their employees have been without a contract since August. They call the walkout, which began at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, "by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years."

NPR's Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit:

"The striking employees mostly work in Verizon's wireline business — landline phone, video and Internet — on the East Coast.

It's the showdown at the Supreme Court Corral on Monday for public employee unions and their opponents.

Union opponents are seeking to reverse a 1977 Supreme Court decision that allows public employee unions to collect so-called "fair share fees."

Twenty-three states authorize collecting these fees from those who don't join the union but benefit from a contract that covers them.

Bill Radke speaks with Dawn Gearhart and Paul Guppy about whether or not for-hire drivers should be allowed to unionize in Seattle. If the Seattle City Council votes to approve legislation allowing unionization, Seattle would be the first city in the country to take this step. 

Gearhart is a union representative from Teamsters 117. Guppy is the vice president for research at the Washington Policy Center. 

Pasco School Board Delays Approval Of Teacher Contract

Sep 23, 2015

It’s been a week since teachers in Pasco walked off the picket line and back into the classroom. But Tuesday night the Pasco School Board backed off its plans to ratify a new contract with the local teachers union.

Mary Gates Hall, University of Washington
Flickr Photo/Nam-ho Park (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1iWcYg0

Ross Reynolds speaks with Amy Hagopian, an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, about why she's joined an effort to unionize faculty at the University of Washington.

Red Square, University of Washington campus
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1QnEFc7

David Hyde speaks with Norm Arkans, associate vice president of media relations and communications at the University of Washington, about why the UW administration has "grave reservations" about an attempt by some of the UW faculty to unionize.

Editor’s note: KUOW is a self-sustaining service of the University of Washington. Arkans is an ex-officio member of the Puget Sound Public Radio Board of Directors. 

Teachers and supporters march down First Avenue South on their way to the Seattle Public Schools headquarters south of downtown on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The strike appears to be over.

Seattle teachers union representatives and school district leaders announced Tuesday night the approval of a tentative agreement.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose battles with labor unions in his own state made him a hero to Republicans, is now proposing huge restrictions on unions nationally as he seeks to revitalize his presidential campaign.

On Monday, Walker released an eight-page plan to take on unions, titled "My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses."

He's vowing to:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.

Teachers strike outside Orca K-12 in Columbia City on Wednesday. Seattle Public Schools remains closed Monday as negotiations continue.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The Seattle teachers' strike enters its fourth day Monday as teachers continue to negotiate their contract.

Seattle Public Schools issued a counter-proposal that spokeswoman Stacy Howard says would include pay for a longer school day. She did not specify how much pay.

teacher salary education
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Standing outside Roosevelt High School on Thursday, a Seattle teacher held up the gold standard.

It was the tentative contract for Everett schools, which promises veteran teachers with a master’s degree and the maximum education credits nearly $100,000 by 2017.

Listener Sarah Johnson posted this picture from Green Lake Elementary with the message, 'We love our teachers.'
Courtesy of Sarah Johnson

David Hyde speaks with Richelle Dickerson, co-president of West Woodland Parent-Teacher Association, about why she and other parents have been supporting the Seattle teachers strike.

Emily McCann took this Whittier Elementary on the first day of the strike.
Courtesy of Emily McCann

David Hyde talks to Phil Dine, labor expert and author of "State of the Unions," about how Seattle's teacher strike compares to labor trends nationally.

Seattle teachers and supporters walked the picket line in front of Orca K-8 school in Columbia City.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Seattle teachers' strike is entering day three, and so far the tone has been pretty laid back, with teachers even singing. But when are things going to heat up?

They already are in Pasco, where the teachers' strike is leading to a contempt-of-court hearing Friday.

Group Challenges Public Employee Unions With Lawsuit

Aug 14, 2015

An Olympia-based libertarian group called the Freedom Foundation is laying down stakes in Oregon by filing a lawsuit against the state’s largest public employee union.

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