UFCW 1518 enters mediation with Uber and Lyft in B.C.

(l.-r.) UFCW Canada's Pablo Godoy and UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak

Vancouver – December 19, 2019 – The union fighting on behalf of ride hailing drivers in British Columbia has entered mediation with Lyft and Uber at the Labour Relations Board.

“The employment contracts that Uber and Lyft require their drivers to sign violate B.C. labour law and we want to ensure that ride hailing drivers’ rights are protected,” says Kim Novak, President of UFCW Local 1518. In particular, the contracts imply that drivers cannot join a union, which is in violation of the B.C. Labour Code.

The union filed its challenge to Uber and Lyft at the Labour Relations Board on November 27 and the board announced the mediation date earlier this week.

“Ride hailing drivers are exploited, underpaid, and unsafe in jurisdictions around the world where Uber and Lyft operate. Drivers deserve the minimum protections that are provided to all workers in B.C. That is why we are asking the board to classify ride hailing drivers as employees so they can be covered by provincial labour standards,” Novak adds.

Since launching the Uber Drivers United campaign, UFCW has become the leading voice for ride hailing drivers in Canada, signing up hundreds of Uber Black drivers in Toronto and now spearheading organizing efforts in B.C., as well as other parts of the country.

“This is a very important first step in getting Uber and Lyft to the table and proactively regulating ride hailing services,” says Pablo Godoy, UFCW Canada National Co-ordinator for Gig and Platform-Employer Initiatives. “Our union is working across the country to get the voices and concerns of ride hailing drivers to the fore, as we believe gig and platform-based workers deserve the same rights and protections as all other workers in Canada,” he adds.

To learn more about the campaign to bring justice and fairness to Uber and other ride hailing drivers, visit UFCW’s Uber Drivers United website.