Toronto Uber drivers unionize

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Toronto Uber drivers have finally unionized and are fighting to ensure the company respects their rights and pays them a fair wage.

Hundreds of drivers have signed up with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union and are demanding a minimum wage, end to the rating system, and adherence to employment laws.

There are currently more than 90,000 Toronto drivers working for private transportation companies (including Uber and Lyft), according to the city. That’s up from 30,000 in 2016.

They are fighting to get the company to abandon its rating system which some drivers believe puts too much pressure on them to please customers in order to get a good rating. If drivers get bad ratings, they can be suspended from Uber without recourse.

Uber classifies drivers as independent contractors, not employees, meaning they aren’t subject to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, or entitled to minimum wage, vacation days, or mandatory breaks. It also means they can’t technically be certified as a union local, but UFCW said it will advocate for drivers regardless of what will likely be a long process.

It will urge governments to change legislation to recognize Uber drivers as employees and invite the ride-hailing company to enter discussions to address their concerns.

But here’s the thing, if Uber gets rid of it rating system and is forced to treat independent contractor drivers as employees, they would have to change their business model and that is unlikely to happen. -CINEWS

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