The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has ruled that couriers with Foodora, a food app delivery service, are dependent contractors and have the legal right to unionize. This is significant given the effect it could have on future of thousands of Canadians now dependent on the gig economy.
Foodora had classified their couriers as independent contractors, rather than employees.
The decision released by the OLRB stated: “The couriers are selected by Foodora and required to deliver food on the terms and conditions determined by Foodora in accordance with Foodora standards. In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora, and not themselves.”
It also acknowledged that this is the board’s first decision which pertains to workers within the “gig economy,” but is far from the first time they have examined the relationship between a courier and their employer.
CUPW also filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the board over claims that Foodora Canada spread misinformation during the union drive.
Foodora said it is reviewing the decision and is assessing how it will move forward with the couriers in Toronto and Mississauga.
The union has said that, if certified, it would negotiate a better compensation model, as well as health and safety protections for when workers are injured, as well as recognition of basic workers’ rights.
Foodora’s workers are paid $4.50 per order plus $1 per kilometre between the restaurant and delivery address, while restaurants pay the company up to about 30 per cent of the order total. -CINEWS