Issued July 03, 2024

Massachusetts Uber, Lyft drivers launch historic ballot initiative to win union rights

Deliver final signatures to place right to a union on November ballot, declare collective bargaining needed to make rideshare industry sustainable for workers

State Attorney Gen. Andrea Campbell backs ballot initiative on heels of key settlement with companies that sets baseline standards

BOSTON - At a time when unions are at historic levels of popularity among the voting public, thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers in Massachusetts Tuesday announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind ballot initiative to win union rights in the rideshare industry.

The drivers, who have been organizing for more than two years to pave a path toward unionization in the state, have exceeded the signature requirements to qualify for the ballot by several thousand. On Tuesday, they submitted a final batch of more than 12,429 signatures required in the second phase of signature collection. Back in December 2023, drivers submitted more than the 74,574 required in the first phase.

The drivers are supported by the United for Justice ballot committee, which includes 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union and the International Association of Machinists.

“Over the past two years Massachusetts Uber and Lyft drivers have exposed the gig economy for what it is: an exploitation model centered on bilking workers, consumers and taxpayers alike,” said SEIU President April Verrett. “Drivers know that the best antidote to their industry’s sub-minimum wages, unfair deactivations and unsafe working conditions is the power to collectively bargain for better standards through a union. SEIU is fully committed to backing the courage and creativity of rideshare drivers as they rewrite the rules in the face of labor law that has counted them out and written them out for too long.”

The organizing efforts in Massachusetts build on rideshare driver efforts backed by SEIU across the country, including the California Gig Workers Union, which continues to demand a path for rideshare drivers to form a union while it awaits a significant State Supreme Court ruling on rideshare drivers' labor rights. SEIU has focused on winning a path to a union for workers who are prevented from doing so by broken labor laws. In home care, child care and fast food in California, SEIU has driven state-level change that creates sectoral unions in industries that rely heavily on Black, brown and immigrant workers who have been excluded by existing labor laws.


On Tuesday morning, drivers also gained an endorsement of their ballot campaign from Massachusetts Attorney Gen. Andrea Campbell, who recently reached a settlement with Uber and Lyft that outlined important minimum standards on compensation, sick time, and other issues.

Campbell released the following statement, referencing the settlement, and backing the efforts of rideshare workers to win collective bargaining rights.

“Our settlement with Uber and Lyft secured an unprecedented package of minimum wage, benefits and protections for workers,” Campbell said. “It’s a strong foundation that can and should be built upon. I’m proud to support this ballot question, which if passed, would empower and allow workers to collectively bargain for even greater pay and benefits.”

The Attorney General’s endorsement comes on the heels of a ruling by the State Supreme Judicial Court last week clearing the way to put drivers’ right to unionize on the ballot this November.

“We appreciate the attorney general fighting to enforce the law – and we are thrilled to have her endorsement of our ballot question,” said Yolanda Rodriguez, a driver from Malden, Massachusetts. “Now, we also want the right to fight for ourselves. We want the right to a union. We want to negotiate for better pay, better healthcare, and better working conditions.”

Two-thirds of Massachusetts voters support Uber and Lyft drivers having the right to form a union and collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions, according to a poll of likely 2024 voters across the state.

The United for Justice ballot initiative committee, which commissioned the poll, noted that most members of the public don’t realize that Uber and Lyft drivers are currently denied the right to unionize in Massachusetts.

But as the poll demonstrates, the overwhelming majority of voters are quick to support drivers’ right to unionize when presented with the question.

“We are thankful for the Attorney General’s endorsement of this ballot initiative and for the work of her office to establish key baseline standards for workers. We know the Attorney General understands that workers also need union rights to protect and build upon those standards,” said SEIU 32BJ Assistant to the President Roxana Rivera. “You have to consider that often more than half of the compensation drivers receive is going to expenses just to stay on the road. The settlement is a great and historic first step, and we are thankful that the Attorney General also recognizes and supports the drivers’ need for union rights.”

A recent report also reveals other staggering statistics, including the percentage of Massachusetts drivers making less than minimum wage, the volatile variability of their pay, and the percentage of full-time drivers.

“We appreciate the support of the Attorney General and we are optimistic that voters will support drivers in gaining the same freedoms that most other workers enjoy – including the basic freedom to collectively bargain to ensure a better situation for their families,” said Assistant Directing Business Representative of District 15 of the International Association of Machinists, Mike Vartabedian.

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Paid for by United for Justice. Top contributors: Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ and Service Employees International Union. For more information regarding contributors, go to