Teamsters in for the Long Haul Organizing Uber Drivers

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Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday at 8:45 and 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

The Teamsters’ Rome Aloise says the proposed $100 million class action settlement that drivers made with Uber isn’'t the end of driver efforts to organize for justice on the job with the multi-billion-dollar app based taxi service.

Uber controls the conditions of work for the drivers but classifies them as independent contractors instead of as employees.

Aloise says this mis-classification is a huge national problem - not just in California—that shortchanges workers and tax revenues.

“Mis-classification is a giant problem in this country. And it remains to be seen how that works within this context of the Uber-type companies.”

Aloise says the Teamsters are in it for the long haul finding ways to organize Uber and Lyft drivers as well as port truckers who are also misclassified. Aloise says the Uber proposed agreement is likely to be modified before it’s final.

“I believe that there’ll be some modifications to it before it’s finalized. And I think it opens up an opportunity for these drivers to coalesce into one organization so that they can have one spokesperson instead of 15 or 20 associations up and down the state. And that can only be better for these drivers to improve their lives, whether as employees or independent operators.”

Teachers Unionizing Amid Deteriorating Conditions at California’s Largest Online Charter School

Teachers organizing a California Teachers Association/National Education Association affiliated union at California’s largest online charter school says the school has issues that need to be fixed.

Educators from California Virtual Academies (CAVA) say they have been pushing for improvements to protect their 15,000 students and to improve learning and working conditions at the school.

Sarah Vigrass teaches at CAVA.

“Our CAVA teachers are standing up for change in our school and the online public education sector. We’re demanding a voice for online public charter schools to be held to a higher standard of accountability and transparency so that we can ensure that our students and the public who funds our school.”

Vigrass says students and teachers do deserve better and giving teachers a real voice in how the school educates would help improve quality at CAVA.

“There’s a real disconnect between our administration and the teachers. teachers really don’t have a voice at all or a say in school operations. And things are deteriorating for both our staff and our students. And so we are seeking to unionize to have more of a say in the say our school operates, so we can better support our students and keep good teachers at our school.”

Teachers have launched a national petition to improve the online charter school at educationvotesnea.org.