Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. November 2015, Volume 29 No. 6

MCLE Self-Study: From Collective Bargaining to Crowdsourcing Taxi Drivers in Transition

By Hon. John M. True (Ret.)

John True practiced labor and employment law for 28 years before being appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court, where he served for 11 years until his retirement in 2015. Judge True received his law degree from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1975. Upon retirement from the bench, he returned to Leonard Carder, LLP where he has opened a practice in mediation and arbitration. He has taught labor and employment law at various Bay Area law schools, and will teach labor law at Stanford in the spring of 2016.

Union Taxi Drivers

Beginning in the early 1900s and until relatively recently, cab drivers in San Francisco, "hackmen" as they were once known, were represented by labor organizations, most recently by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).1 Forty years ago, when I was a rookie lawyer in the General Counsel’s office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was assigned to investigate and try several taxi industry cases involving alleged unfair labor practices (ULP) in San Francisco and Sacramento. The respondent companies were said to have discriminated against certain of their drivers on account of their union activities, thereby violating section 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).2

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