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Policy Change Punishes Pregnant Women

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:18

Teamster Local 554 member Sarah Miles, the daughter of another Nebraska UPS Teamster Jeff Benson, found out what UPS management thinks of its pregnant workers. Put on a weight restriction by her doctor, Sarah was told by UPS that no light-duty work was available, and that she did not qualify for Family Medical Leave. 

And Sarah isn’t the only one. When North Carolina UPS driver Nichele Fulmore was told by her doctor that she could not lift more than 20 pounds during her pregnancy, she assumed that UPS would make accommodations so that she could continue working, as they had done for others in the past at her center. 

But UPS said they would not provide light duty work. So Nichele found herself out of work, and after 26 weeks on disability, out of health benefits, with three months to go until her due date. 

These are not isolated incidents. UPS is imposing a company-wide policy change that denies pregnant woman with health restrictions the right to perform alternate duties. In the process, UPS management is denying women access to medical benefits (which run out after six months on disability leave) and, frequently, the right to use their Family Medical Leave (FMLA) benefits. 

FMLA lets employers deny benefits to workers if they have fewer than 1,250 hours worked in the previous year. The majority of UPS’s workforce is part-time. That means that many women who are planning to use their FMLA benefits after the birth of their child may come up short on hours if they are refused the right to keep working during their pregnancy. 

In the past, UPS generally provided light-duty work to pregnant employees with work restrictions. This practice was written into the union contract in 1997. But now UPS claims that they only have to honor the contract in states that have their own laws regarding pregnancy and light-duty work. It’s a good deal for them: the only state known to have such a law is California. 

The IBT has refused to fight over the issue, claiming that a bad arbitration decision makes it a done deal. 

But members and families see it differently, and aren’t ready to give up. Last month, Sarah Miles’ mother Susan Benson conducted a one-person picket in front of UPS in Omaha, Nebraska, and got noticed by UPS management in the process. She went back the next week, this time after notifying the media. Management really started paying attention. 

“They just ticked me off,” Benson said. “You don’t take a young woman who’s worked hard for you for three years, and kick her into the street with no pay and no insurance because she’s pregnant. My husband works for UPS, and we’ve had to deal with them for 24 years on insurance issues. Now they’re hurting my daughter.” 

Getting management’s attention is one thing, getting this issue resolved is another. Pressure needs to be brought to bear on management, through the union and the public. UPS’s actions need to be brought out in the open. 

To make that happen, we need to gather information. If you have been affected by UPS’s policy or know of other pregnant UPS Teamsters who have been, please contact TDU
 

Issues: UPSWomen Teamsters
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Concession Bargaining Gets "tentative labor agreement" At Golden Gate Bridge "This was not just a one-sided concession. Both sides made concessions in order to come to terms and not impact our customers."

Current News - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:02

Concession Bargaining Gets "tentative labor agreement" At Golden Gate Bridge "This was not just a one-sided concession. Both sides made concessions in order to come to terms and not impact our customers."
Golden Gate Bridge workers unions, district reach tentative contract agreement
By Jessica Kwong @JessicaGKwong

• JESSICA KWONG/THE S.F. EXAMINER
• Golden Gate Bridge workers unions and the bridge district have reached a tentative labor agreement after bus workers announced last week that they intended to strike Friday.
Two Golden Gate Bridge workers strikes, including one that paralyzed ferry service, failed to move labor negotiations, but the threat of a third strike that would have halted bridge bus service today may have turned the tide, as a tentative agreement was reached Thursday.

The tentative agreement - for which details remain confidential pending votes from all 13 bridge worker unions and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District - came after both sides met for the first time since Teamsters Locals 856 and 665 announced Oct. 9 a planned bus strike. District spokesman Priya Clemens did reveal that "healthcare is an area where a compromise was reached."

"It was a long day. Nobody took any breaks. Everybody worked very hard to make this compromise happen," she said Thursday. "This was not just a one-sided concession. Both sides made concessions in order to come to terms and not impact our customers."

Clemens also credited Gov. Jerry Brown's office for offering counsel and advice.

The district had offered a contract with three-percent wage increases each year for the next three years, but union members claimed that health insurance premium increases would cost two percent in wages. The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, which represents the 13 unions, has been at the bargaining table since April and without a contract since July 1.

"This is the first district proposal that we have actually taken to the members for a vote," said coalition co-chair Alex Tonisson.

As to whether the planned bus strike was the tipping point for concessions, Tonisson said: "I think that the Teamsters going on strike and shutting down bus service is a clear escalation and impacts even more customers; that's just kind of a fact and we'll see what the end result is."

On a typical weekday, about 22,000 people use the Golden Gate Transit bus service and about 9,000 people use the ferry service, according to the district.

Tags: Golden Gate Bridge WorkersConcession Bargaining
Categories: Labor News

Historic Wins at FedEx Freight and Con-way

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:30

October 17, 2014: FedEx Freight workers in Philadelphia voted for this first time to join the Teamsters. Con-way workers in Laredo did the same. How can we build on this momentum?

For the first time in years, there’s excitement in the air about Teamster organizing in the trucking industry. Can we turn that into some real Teamster power?

Local 657 organized the Laredo Con-way terminal. Local 107 lost a vote at FedEx Freight in New Jersey, but then won the NLRB vote at the Philadelphia terminal. These were the first-ever organizing wins at FedEx or Con-way terminals. 

The companies are starting to respond, with both threats and pay hikes.

Other locals are taking action. There are organizing votes scheduled at several FedEx Freight and Con-way terminals in the next few weeks, from Los Angeles to Harrisburg Pa. Leaders of several locals report that FedEx Freight and Con-way workers in their areas are ready to organize.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) supports this organizing in a core Teamster industry and urges locals and members to get involved and turn this into a movement.

So far, the International union has not put major resources in the campaign: no financial backing to locals, no boots on the ground. 

The IBT Organizing Department has held biweekly conference calls for locals to exchange information, and designed leaflets and signs. That’s a start. But no local union’s resources can be a match for the anti-union campaigns of these corporate giants.

Local unions and freight workers are stepping up to take action. The IBT needs to get behind this movement and help drive it to victory.

The Hoffa administration has to put some power behind our freight Teamsters. The best field organizers are freight Teamsters who are proud of our union. 

Troy Justis, an ABF driver in Columbus Local 413 summed it up: “It’s great that we’re finally making some gains in organizing FedEx Freight and Con-way. But if we’re going to win on a wide scale, we need to shore up Teamster pride in freight. That starts with much better contract enforcement.”

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Got Unfair Labor Practices? Put 'em to use

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:14
Robert M. SchwartzLabor NotesOctober 17, 2014Employer unfair labor practices (ULPs) are violations of worker and union rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and similar public sector collective bargaining laws. For many unions, they are a familiar experience. Some, however, have discovered that a ULP can be a gift in disguise, providing a defense against the most dangerous employer weapons. A union that plays its cards right can use ULPs to help win contract campaigns, strikes, and other confrontations. Click here to read more.   Rights & Resources: Steward's Toolbox
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Italy: Camusso warns of 'season of mobilization'

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Gazzetta del Sud
Categories: Labor News

Swaziland: Police Ban March to Protest Ban on Unions

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: allAfrica
Categories: Labor News

Europe: Across Europe protestors say No to Trade Deals that Threaten Democracy

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

UK: Why we are marching on October 18

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TUC
Categories: Labor News

Israel Corp. to spin off stake in Zim container line

Current News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 15:45

Israel Corp. to spin off stake in Zim container line
http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.620647
Corianne Egan, Associate Editor Journal of Commerce | Oct 14, 2014 12:42PM EDT

Israel Corp. will shift its stake in Zim Integrated Shipping Services, along with several other companies, to a holdings company that will be listed on stock exchanges in New York and Tel Aviv, the company announced.

The company said it will move its stakes in four companies, including container carrier Zim, to Kenon Holdings, which incorporated in Singapore. Kenon, which will be valued at $1.5 billion, will also receive an influx of nearly $100 million and a $200 million line of credit from Israel Corp., according to Middle Eastern news outlet Haaretz.

Israel Corp. announced it will split into two parts, a restructuring expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Led by new CEO and former CFO Avisar Paz, the restructuring requires Israel Corp. to transfer its stakes in Zim, along with stakes in Chinese automaker Qoros, computer chip manufacturer TowerJazz and electric power company IC Power, to Kenon.

Israel Corp. will continue to manage its stake in Israel Chemicals, Oil Refineries, and IC Green.

Zim entered the final stages of debt restructuring after reaching an agreement with the Israeli government in late July. As part of that deal, Israel Corp. agreed to a nearly $3.4 billion deal, which included $200 million in new equity, along with forgiving nearly $225 million in loans.

JOC.com has reported that Zim, the only major carrier not aligned with a major east-west alliance, would likely seek to join forces with other carriers after the restructuring was completed.

The carrier has been in the news of late because of pro-Palestine group protests in a few U.S. ports, which have prevented ships from unloading in Port of Oakland and caused delays in docking at the Port of Tampa Bay.

According to Alphaliner, Zim ranks 19th on the Top 100 list of carriers, deploying a fleet totaling 336,861 TEUs, 1.8 percent of the global fleet.

Contact Corianne Egan at cegan@joc.com and follow her on Twitter: @CEgan_JOC.

Tags: Zimboycott
Categories: Labor News

India: Question mark over raise in wages of tea garden workers

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Hindu
Categories: Labor News

Hong Kong: Social Workers Union members march on Police HQ

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Union Book
Categories: Labor News

Syria: UN warning of Kobani massacre must be heeded

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Fed Ex, Con-way battling inroads by Teamsters union

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:52
John D. SchulzLogistics ManagementOctober 15, 2014View the original piece

FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight, two of the largest non-union LTL carriers in the nation, are battling organizing efforts by the Teamsters union in a closely watched unionization effort.
  
Workers at FedEx Freight’s Philadelphia facility recently voted 28-16 in favor of representation by the Teamsters union. That follows a rejection of union organization weeks earlier by FedEx Freight workers in Cinnaminson, N.J., a suburb of Philadelphia.

Click here to read more at Logistics Managment.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

FedEx Freight Workers Vote for Union in Pennsylvania

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:14
Transport TopicsOctober 15, 2014View the original piece

FedEx Freight drivers at a Philadelphia terminal voted in favor of Teamsters representation, becoming the first workers at the less-than-truckload carrier to become union members.

The vote by a reported 26-18 margin came four days after drivers at the Cinnaminson, New Jersey, terminal voted against becoming Teamsters. The New Jersey vote was the first-ever unionization balloting at the nation’s largest less-than-truckload company. No vote count was disclosed for the New Jersey vote.

Click here to read more at Transport Topics.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

10/22 Global World Protest-Uber Drivers International Protest Against UBER-It's Time To Stop The Machine

Current News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:02

10/22 Global World Protest-Uber Drivers International Protest Against UBER-It's Time To Stop The Machine
https://www.facebook.com/Uberxdrivers
12 noon PST At Every Local Uber Office Worldwide
Uber World Headquarters
1445 Market St. San Francisco

For the first time ever Uber drivers world wide in one united front, say enough, switch the tide around, get off your ass, get the world around 10/22 noon at your local uber office. Be there This is it, hummer time baby!!!
Enough of the unfair rating system
Enough of the ridiculous pricing
Enough of the 20% that's on it's way to 25% cut
Enough of the gray insurance coverage
Enough of flooding the streets with drivers
Enough is enough Kallaprick
Uber needs to take better care of us

Uber Drivers Across The Country Are Organizing Their Largest Protest Yet
Uber drivers in New York, San Francisco and London are already on board, one of the organizers told BuzzFeed News.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/johanabhuiyan/uber-drivers-across-the-country-ar...
posted on Oct. 3, 2014, at 2:40 p.m.

Johana Bhuiyan
BuzzFeed Staff

Uber Drivers Network in New York protest Uber X fare cuts outside of the Long Island City office in Queens in September. BuzzFeed News | Johana Bhuiyan
The California App-Based Drivers Association (CADA) – a non-profit dedicated to protecting fairness and transparency in the app-based car service industry – ismobilizing Uber drivers across the country and in some parts of the world to participate in what may be the largest coordinated Uber protest yet.
CADA, which is tied to the Teamsters Local 986 in L.A. , will be protesting at Uber’s L.A. offices on October 22 at noon and has encouraged all Uber drivers to gather at their local Uber offices.
“Scattered protests, while allowing the drivers to vent locally, are generally drowned out in the white noise of the local news cycle,” a post on their Facebook page read. “However, if we coordinate our efforts on ONE DAY … for just THREE HOURS, our combined efforts WILL break through that white noise!”
So far, joining the movement are the Uber Drivers Network in New York — whichprotested at the Long Island City offices twice last month — and the Uber drivers network in San Francisco, which according to the site boasts 1,923 drivers, one of the primary organizers of the San Francisco network, who identified himself as Ramzi, told BuzzFeed News. Ramzi will also be flying to London to help organize the protests there.
Uber drivers in both San Francisco and New York were recently hit with the news that the 20% cuts to Uber X fares that were introduced as a temporary promotion are now permanent. The drivers plan to protest those discounted prices, as well as demand that the company introduce tips and lower its own commission.
Contact the reporter with more information at johana.bhuiyan@buzzfeed.com.

The insurance secret that Uber doesn’t want you to know
http://www.policygenius.com/blog/insurance-secret-uber-doesnt-want-know/
POSTED BY ADAM CECIL ON OCT 8, 2014

Reduce the risk of getting t-boned by Uber
Consider this insurance horror story:

Someone pulls up an app on their phone, types in the address of where they need to go, and orders your car. You turn around and drive to pick them up.

While you're driving, you look over to your phone to make sure you're still heading in the right direction. While you're looking the other way, you hit a car. It's not a big accident (luckily), but it's bad enough that the other driver calls the police (and you have to cancel your pick-up).

The police get there, they take down all of your info, including the fact that you were driving for a company called "Uber." You submit your claim to your auto insurance company and go about your life.

A few days later, your insurance company calls you. Unfortunately, your claim has been denied because you were performing a business activity. You're now on the hook not only for your own car repairs, but the other driver's, too. Oh, and by the way: your car insurance policy has been canceled.

You contact Uber to see if their insurance policy is going to cover the damages. Nope, says the woman on the other end of the phone. Since you didn’t have a passenger in the car, they’re not liable. Consider yourself lucky you didn’t hurt anyone.

A Taxi By Any Other Name
You've probably heard of Uber, the app that lets you hail a taxi from your smartphone. You may also have heard of its competitors Lyft and Sidecar. While Uber has a number of commercially licensed black car services, it also has a product it calls UberX. Just like Lyft and Sidecar, UberX lets you hail a car driven by... some dude?

That's right: unlike traditional taxi medallion companies or a black car service, almost anyone can drive for UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar. All you need is a car and a smartphone app. This is controversial for a number of reasons, ranging from worker's rights tosafety issues. Writer David Fagin went undercover as an Uber driver for Huffington Post. He didn’t have any trouble: "[Uber will] pretty much take anyone, as is demonstrated by the downloadable video test you have to pass, which is about as hard to master as tying your shoes. From there, as far as I can tell there's no license check; you simply get your vehicle's paperwork and head to a nearby Holiday Inn.”

Lyft and Sidecar have described their services as "ride-sharing." They're not taxi companies, or even a driving service - instead, they provide "marketplaces" where drivers can offer their services and users can get a ride. Lyft even goes so far as to describe their users, on both ends, as a "community." It's "your friend with a car,"according to the website - not a driver you're hiring.

Critics, especially traditional taxi drivers, see this as deceptive. You pay a "suggested donation" to your Lyft driver, for instance, and if you don't pay it, you'll be blocked from the service. They are, for all intents and purposes, taxis.

The tension between our traditional idea of a taxi and the updates to the model that UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar provide is at the heart of the debate between government regulators and the companies in question. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) went so far as to categorize UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar as an entirely new category of transportation services: transportation network companies, or TNCs.

The issue of what exactly a transportation network company is has plagued Uber and its competitors across over thirty U.S. states and almost a dozen countries. So far, government officials have been unimpressed by the companies' insistence that they are not taxis, and therefore get to skirt around regulation.

Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar would rather have you think of them as technology companies. As Uber wrote in a legal filing with the CPUC:

Uber operates no vehicles, and does not hold itself out or advertise itself as a transportation service provider. In fact and law, Uber does not provide transportation services of any kind and does not own, lease or charter any vehicles for the transportation of passengers. On the contrary, Uber is a technology company that licenses the Uber App to transportation service providers. The transportation service providers pay a fee to Uber to use its software technology; the passenger of the transportation service provider pays the transportation service provider for transportation services received.

Ed Healy, taxi driver and writer of the Phantom Cab Driver blog, retorts:

They set the rates for both the passengers and the drivers. They collect the money and pay the driver. They hire the drivers. They blackball undesirable passengers. They tell their drivers where the best places to pick up are and, if the drivers don't pick up a high enough percentage of the fares, Uber fires them. But Uber isn't in the transportation business. Right!

Government agencies and regulators overwhelmingly agree with Healy’s take: Uber is a taxi company, whether they like it or not. (If you were to ask Uber and its defenders, however, they would probably tell you that regulators are in the pockets of a deeply entrenched taxi industry.)

How governments have chosen to deal with these companies has varied wildly. Some, like California and Colorado, don't see the point in completely outlawing TNCs, especially since they've proven incredibly popular compared to traditional taxis.

Colorado, the second state to enact regulation for TNCs, took a liberal approach to the services. Unlike Colorado's taxi drivers, TNC drivers will not have to go through criminal background checks. As Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper declared, "rules designed to protect consumers should not burden businesses with unnecessary red tape or stifle competition by creating barriers to entry."

Police in Houston, Madison, and Pittsburgh, on the other hand, have issued citations to Uber and Lyft drivers for "operating an illegal taxi." Many states where Uber has set up shop have issued cease-and-desist orders until legislators can enact regulations.

The Insurance Secret Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar Don't Want You To Know
All of that backstory is very important in understanding the debate happening across the country right now: who, exactly, is liable when a driver gets into an accident?

It's a question that strikes at the heart of how these companies self-identify. If they are just facilitating a relationship between a third-party driver and a user, as they claim they do as "technology companies," then they shouldn't be liable for much, if anything.

That leaves much of the insurance burden on the drivers, who are using their own personal cars and their own personal car insurance (PCI). What these drivers may not know, however, is that their PCI policy may not cover them if they're driving for Uber, Lyft, or any other "ride-sharing" app.

Despite the Lyft website describing their drivers as "your friend with a car," auto insurance companies see them as commercial drivers. If you have a PCI policy, insurers typically won’t cover an accident that occurs while you’re conducting a commercial activity. Some drivers have reported being able to file a claim with the insurance company fully aware of their status as a TNC driver, but KQED speculates that since CPUC’s first step in regulating TNCs, insurance companies have been more cautious about TNC drivers. Post-regulation, the auto insurance companies have been clear: PCI policies don't cover any "vehicles used for transporting passengers for a charge,"according to the Personal Insurance Federation of California.

There have even been reports of insurance companies like Geico canceling PCI policiesor refusing to renew them because of a driver's UberX or Lyft activity. KQED, a public media company in Northern California, reported on several California drivers being turned down for insurance after revealing their plans to drive for TNCs.

This is in direct opposition to statements from both Uber and Lyft. In a blog post from February of 2014, Uber posted an infographic that shows, according to them, when a PCI policy ends and when Uber's insurance begins. When the Uber app is off, a driver's PCI covers them. When the Uber app is on and the driver has a passenger, Uber's insurance covers them. The gap in between those two periods - when the Uber app is on but there's no passenger in the vehicle - has become a lightening rod for controversy and debate between TNCs, regulators, and drivers.

(Image source: Uber Blog, February 2014)

This insurance gap came to the public's attention at the beginning of this year, when Syed Muzzafar, an UberX driver in San Fransisco, struck an entire family with his Honda SUV, killing six-year-old Sofia Liu. Liu's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber, though Uber is denying that it is liable for any damages because Muzzafar did not have a passenger in his car at the time of the accident.

In response to this incident, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) re-examined its insurance requirements for TNCs. Assembly Bill No. 2293, signed into law on September 17, institutes a number of new requirements for TNCs operating in California, all of which must be met by July 1, 2015.

• TNCs are now required to provide insurance from the moment a driver turns on their app.
• Drivers are responsible for maintaining primary liability insurance coverage of at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence of death and personal injury, as well as $30,000 of coverage for property damage. This insurance can be paid for by the driver or the insurance company.
• TNCs are required to provide, at minimum, $1,000,000 in coverage from the time someone is picked up until the transaction is complete or the passenger has left the vehicle, which ever one happens later.
• Drivers are required to carry proof of insurance coverage. The bill also suggests that private auto insurance companies come up with new plans to cover the mixed personal/business use that TNC drivers exhibit.
This is only one state, however, and elsewhere in the country, TNCs are no under no obligation to offer coverage for drivers when they don't have a passenger. Many drivers remain unaware that they may not be covered by their personal auto insurance policy. Hopefully, auto insurance companies will be encouraged by California's new regulations to create hybrid personal and commercial insurance policies, but questions still remain about how those policies would work. As New York Time's Ron Lieber put it:

The bill also encourages insurers to develop new policies for drivers that could handle both commercial and personal vehicle use; it remains to be seen whether companies like Uber and Lyft will buy it for drivers, whether the drivers will have to buy it themselves, what it will cost, how much the additional costs will add to customers’ fares and whether other states and cities will adopt similar rules.

Artist's interpretation.

How do drivers protect themselves?
If you’re a driver for one of these companies, you might be a little nervous after reading all of that. If you want to make sure you’re covered, there are a few things you can do.

The easiest thing to do would be to buy commercial auto insurance, but for many part-time drivers, this isn’t cost effective. You might be better off contacting your current insurance provider and asking questions about how they deal with claims filed by TNC drivers.

You should also see what kind of local or state regulations are in place for TNCs and their drivers. If your state requires that TNCs provide insurance, contact the company you work for and get proof of insurance for your car.

In the meantime, you can also push your state representative to push forward legislation that would regulate TNCs. You can also contact your insurance company and let them know that you support the creation of hybrid personal/commercial policies.

Tags: UberWorld Protest
Categories: Labor News

Corporate Controlled SF Mayor Ed Lee Appointed SFO Board Gives Free Hand to Sidecar ride company to operate airport rides

Current News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 09:11

Corporate Controlled SF Mayor Ed Lee Appointed SFO Board Gives Free Hand to Sidecar ride company to operate airport rides
Sidecar first ride company to win OK from SFO for airport rides
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Sidecar-first-ride-company-t...
By Carolyn Said

October 14, 2014 | Updated: October 14, 2014 4:52pm

Michael Macor / Michael Macor / The Chronicle

Sidecar became the first on-demand ride service okayed to work at SFO. Rider JoAnna Karem prepares to take a short trip in San Francisco with Sidecar driver Eric Janson.
In a big win for a small company, Sidecar became the first on-demand ride service approved to operate at San Francisco International Airport — and the first allowed at any California airport — under an agreement announced Tuesday.

The San Francisco company said it will start SFO rides within 30 days. Meanwhile bigger rivals Uber and Lyft said they are still pursuing SFO’s OK.

“This permit reflects our commitment to new business models at SFO, and ensures safe, consistent service for our customers,” said Airport Director John Martin in a statement. “I applaud Sidecar for taking the lead in their industry with the first authorized service at SFO. Their proactive approach sets an example for other transportation network companies to follow.”

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said Sidecar will pay the airport $3.85 per trip, on par with what taxis and limos pay. Sidecar said that cost will be passed directly to passengers. It will also pay a permit activation fee and monthly fee.

To avoid congestion, Sidecar drivers will both drop off and pick up passengers on the airport’s upper level, the departure level, Yakel said. SFO will set up a staging area, next to the cell-phone waiting area, where Sidecar drivers can wait for ride requests so they don’t have to circle the airport.

“When regulators and innovators work together consumers win,” Sidecar co-founder and CEO Sunil Paul wrote in a blog post. “We commend SFO for their forward thinking, and for developing a framework that will allow Sidecar to provide safe and affordable transportation to people who live in and visit our city. SFO is one of our most in-demand places for ride requests.”

Sidecar’s permit is part of a pilot program that SFO will use to study its impact on traffic congestion, Paul wrote.

For-hire vehicles working without permission at airports are considered to be trespassing. SFO and other airports have cracked down on nonprofessional drivers using their own cars for app-summoned paid rides, issuing hundreds of verbal admonishments and dozens of citations (for repeat offenders) to drivers, Yakel said. State regulators warned UberX, Lyft, Wingz and Sidecar in June that their entire companies risked being shut down if they continued to give airport rides without permission. Some drivers for UberX and Lyft said the companies encouraged them to operate at the airports and said they would cover the hefty fees imposed on violators.

UberX and Lyft drivers are still subject to warnings and citations at SFO, Yakel said.

Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend applauded the news in a statement that was unusually congenial for the famously combative company.

“SFO is embracing the convenience, reliability, and seamless experience that the ridesharing industry offers travelers and it is clear that the countless hours we have spent working with airport officials on a solution has paid off,” she said. “This is a win for the people who live (in) and visit the Bay Area.”

Lyft pointed out that it has the only other airport deal in the nation, at Nashville International Airport. “Lyft continues to have productive conversations with SFO,” it said in a statement. “These agreements are the first of many steps toward securing nationwide coverage and authorization for (transportation network companies) at airports.“

A UC Berkeley study this year found that about 61 percent of on-demand San Francisco ride customers used Uber (mainly its lower-cost UberX service); 30 percent used Lyft and 7 percent used Sidecar.

Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: csaid@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @csaid

Tags: sidecarEd Lee
Categories: Labor News

Colombia: New threats to trade unionists in Colombia

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

China: The rise of China's workers movement

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Equal Times
Categories: Labor News

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