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Independent Contractors Could Unionize Under California Bill

nate steiner / Flickr
 

nate steiner / Flickr

(AP) — A state lawmaker wants to make California the first state to allow Uber drivers and other independent contractors to unionize.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez announced the legislation on Wednesday, a week after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued Seattle over the nation's first city ordinance allowing for-hire drivers to organize labor coalitions.

The San Diego Democrat authored the California proposal to allow "gig" workers to jointly negotiate their pay and working conditions.

Federal law does not extend collective bargaining rights to independent contractors.

Gonzalez and her adviser, labor attorney Rich McCracken, say states have the right to supervise a process enabling independent contractors to organize.

The Internet Association, whose members include most major cloud and app-based businesses, says the bill unfairly targets Internet companies and would hurt workers.