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Uber drivers seek to team up with Teamsters

Labor union says it has received "overwhelming outreach" from Uber drivers seeking benefits and a stronger voice on the job.

The California Labor Commission rules that an Uber driver should be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor.

A day after Uber settled a pair of class action lawsuits over how it classifies drivers, the Teamsters said it plans to form an association for ride-share drivers in California.

The labor union said Friday it has received "overwhelming outreach" from Uber drivers seeking benefits, dispute resolution and a stronger voice on the job.

"We welcome any Uber drivers seeking to improve their working conditions," said Rome Aloise, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, in a statement. "By coming together, the Teamsters will help these drivers have a stronger voice and improve standards for rideshare drivers in California."

Under the recent settlement with drivers in California and Massachusetts, which still needs to be approved by a judge, Uber drivers will remain independent contractors. This means the company is not responsible for all sorts of costs, including Social Security, health insurance and overtime. However, among the changes in the settlement is a requirement that Uber recognize a drivers association in both states.

The Teamsters already formed an association for Uber drivers in Seattle under the App-Based Drivers Association, and has organized drivers at tech companies throughout Silicon Valley, including Facebook, Apple, Google and Yahoo.

Uber said this does not affect the settlement.