Foodora couriers earn right to unionise
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) published its decision on the worker status of foodora couriers to be recognised as dependent contractors, contrary to their previous classification as independent contractors.
When Canadian food delivery service foodora (which belongs to Delivery Hero), acquired Hurrier in 2015, it absorbed an existing business that worked alongside independent contractors who executed food deliveries on behalf of the company. This model provided flexibility for couriers, allowing them to dictate when they worked and for how long, to accept or decline orders, to choose when to take time off, to use their own equipment and to provide their services to multiple delivery clients concurrently.
“We have received the OLRB’s decision – we’re reviewing it and assessing how we’ll move forward with the couriers in Toronto and Mississauga. We respect the Board’s process under the Labour Relations Act,” said David Albert, managing director, foodora Canada. “We’re continuing to focus on foodora’s growth, and to operate in the best interest of our three key stakeholders: customers, vendor partners and couriers. Until the voter list is confirmed, and the unionisation application votes are counted, we cannot speculate at this time as to whether the vote will sway in favour of CUPW and what this might mean for our business moving forward. Right now, it’s business as usual.”
Jan Simpson, CUPW National President, said “This decision shows that the tide is turning towards justice for thousands of gig workers in Ontario and soon these workers will have the right to their union. CUPW is proud to be part of challenging the big app-based employers, and reshaping the future of work in favour of workers’ rights, safety, and respect.”
“This decision sets a historic precedent for precarious workers,” says Ryan White, Cavalluzzo LLP. “It vindicates the union, which has known all along that Foodora controls the way that couriers work too much for them to be classified independent contractors.”