CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICEAug. 11, 2016 Seattle vs Uber: Forefront of a workers’ rights revival

This week, a federal court ruled that neither the Chamber of Commerce nor its associate members, such as Uber, have the legal right to presently challenge Seattle’s controversial local collective bargaining ordinance, which under certain circumstances allows workers not covered by the National Labor Relations Act to seek union representation.

Lee Adler, an expert on employment and workers’ rights law at Cornell University’s ILR School, says Seattle is ingeniously expanding protection for its private sector workers by passing the ordinance and furthering what he calls ‘America’s human rights rebirth’ against corporate efforts to restrict the same.

Adler says:

“Seattle’s ordinance ingeniously attempts to circumvent more than 60 years of federal law that states that only the federal government can create private sector workers’ rights to collectively bargain. We will find out if Seattle is successful.

“It is important to appreciate that Seattle’s efforts are a part of a series of local governments’ nationwide initiatives, from Birmingham to Charlotte to Los Angeles, that seek to advance workplace and other economic rights and human dignity to its citizens.

“This Seattle court case is one of the opening salvoes in what someday may be called America’s human rights rebirth, and efforts to halt this citizens movement will require a more effective strategy than we saw in Seattle.”

For interviews contact:Rebecca Vallioffice: 607-255-7701cell: 607-793-1025[email protected] Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.

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