Human decency prevails with announcement of forthcoming legislation, but more action urgently needed
Toronto – October 21, 2021 – The Government of Ontario recently announced their intention to introduce first of its kind legislation that will make it unlawful for businesses to restrict delivery couriers from using restrooms at pickup and drop-off locations.
“This legislation has been a long-time coming after hearing some of the shameful conduct perpetrated by businesses who utilize the services of couriers and app-delivery companies,” says Pablo Godoy, UFCW Canada Gig and Platform Initiatives Coordinator. “This is surely a sign that drivers in the app-based industry need basic protections and while this legislation points to that, it barely scratches the surface of what is truly needed and that’s union protection.”
Working conditions among app-based delivery drivers are becoming a major point of concern as many workers report the lack of basic labour rights and protections most other workers are entitled to.
“It is shameful that it takes a government announcement and legislation to secure even basic rights and protections almost any other worker takes for granted but that is what happens when app-based companies regulate themselves,” says Godoy. “It is time workers have a seat at the table when it comes to the working-conditions in their industry and the only way to achieve that is through having a union.”
Gig worker union activists contend that Uber and other app-based companies continue to deny their responsibilities to drivers and have blocked drivers from negotiating safe and decent working-conditions, prompting increased scrutiny from regulators.
“It’s not just access to restrooms, it’s access to restroom breaks without threat of deactivation by Uber,” says UFCW Canada member and Uber driver Ejaz Butt. “While some regulations are better than none, what we really want as union members is an opportunity to be heard through meaningful negotiations.”
Since launching the Uber Drivers United campaign in 2019, UFCW has become the leading voice for ride-hailing drivers in Canada, bringing union membership to hundreds of Uber Black drivers in Toronto and spearheading organizing efforts in British Columbia, as well as other parts of the country.
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.