The gig economy in Ontario is fundamentally changing in reaction to a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) that will possibly ripple throughout the country.
The OLRB declared that couriers that work for Foodora, which is an on-demand food delivery service that connects customers with restaurants, can officially certify to become a union.
Foodora couriers voted in August to join the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and have been stating their role within the company was misclassified by identifying them as independent contractors or self-employed entrepreneurs.
Now, this is not the case.
Labour board vice-chair Matthew Wilson stated in the 44-page decision that couriers were “a mere cog in the wheel that is powered by Foodora… In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora, and not themselves.”
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,” said 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.”