Oregon AFL-CIO Responds to Uber’s Meddling in Transportation Funding Talks

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain responds to Uber’s renewed efforts in the Oregon legislature to preempt local jurisdictions from regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) including Uber:

“Uber’s meddling in the Oregon legislature’s transportation funding process is a thinly-veiled attempt to buy off our state in exchange for less regulation.  It is an open door for Uber to earn massive profits at the expense of working people. 

“Oregon’s legislature sent a clear message by not moving House Bill 3246 forward:  transportation systems need to fit the specific needs of the communities in which they operate. Uber’s lobbyists did not seem to get that message.  They have now introduced a resurrection of their previous plans into transportation funding conversations by expressing a willingness for their company to be taxed to fund an expansion of electric vehicle use and capacity, but only if a statewide regulatory preemption is implemented.  This seemingly altruistic gesture is anything but generous:  it comes at the cost of communities’ ability to regulate companies like Uber.  It would cut standards that cities across Oregon use to protect consumers, to protect working people, and to protect riders within local transportation systems.

“Uber’s proposal should be wholeheartedly rejected by Oregon’s lawmakers, just like they did with House Bill 3246.  This is a wealthy, multinational corporation whose business practices include operating illegally in Portland by dodging regulators and making national headlines for their manipulative exploitation of working people for the sake of profits.  It is clear to me, and hopefully to our legislature, that Uber does not have the best interests of consumers and of working Oregonians in mind with their latest proposal.”