2019-08-02_thumb This article is more than 1 year old
News Brief

Foodora Workers Just Won The Right to Unionize And It Might Disrupt the Gig Economy’s Business Model

Management-side lawyers are warning it could ‘erode the foundational basis of the gig economy’

Foodora couriers in Toronto and Mississauga have won the right to unionize after an historic ruling by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

The ruling also threatens to disrupt the gig economy’s business model by rejecting the company’s attempts to classify their workers as “independent contractors.”

Gig economy workers are not “independent contractors”: “In its ruling Tuesday, the labour board said the couriers more closely resemble employees rather than independent contractors in what the board said was its first decision with respect to the so-called gig economy,” reported CBC News.

Under Ontario’s labour laws, independent contractors — as couriers were previously classified — do not have the right to union certification.

ORLB vice-chair Matthew Wilson noted the couriers are selected by Foodora on  terms and conditions set by Foodora. “In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora, and not themselves,” he wrote — contrary to what the company argued throughout the dispute.

Gig economy disrupted by labour laws: According to a recent analysis by Tala Khoury from the management-side law firm Fasken LLP, the ruling could set a precedent for other gig economy employers.

“Such a ruling by the board would erode the foundational basis of the gig economy,” Khoury wrote.

“Business as usual”: Foodora told media it is “business as usual” until the final votes are counted — at which point the couriers would be in a recognized bargaining unit.

How about Uber? Uber Black drivers have also filed for certification with OLRB, with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

“This win is a big precedent for anyone in the gig economy who worries about their health, safety, and security,” said UFCW organizer Pablo Godoy.

Meanwhile other Uber drivers are involved in a high-profile supreme court case against the company — which is looking to refer claims drivers are misclassified as independent contractors to private arbitration in the Netherlands.

[Toronto Star]


Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.


Support Our Journalism
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-02-017 News

Rex Murphy: Don’t Listen to ‘Television and Radio’, They Want You to Believe That Climate Change is Real

Related Stories

News Brief

Jason Kenney Faces Criticism, Mockery After Calling For ‘Economic Sanctions’ on United States

View the post
News Brief

Majority of Manitobans ‘Do Not Trust’ Private, For-Profit Companies Running Long-Term Care Homes

View the post
News Brief

Rock Bottom: Manitoba’s Brian Pallister is Now the Most Unpopular Premier in Canada

View the post


Human rights and inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Why The Full Impact of Hate Groups on Targeted Communities Is Not Captured By Hate Crime Statistics

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

How The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Canada’s Most Powerful People Have Less Power Than They Think

View the post