Foodora couriers ‘dependent contractors’

Delivery Hero-owned Canadian hot food delivery company Foodora delivery staff have been declared ‘dependant couriers’ by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. This goes against the company’s labelling them ‘independent contractors’. 

Foodora said that the independent status of the couriers gave them flexibility as to the hours they worked, to accept or decline orders and to have freedom of choice as to when to take time off. They also had the freedom to work for other couriers as they desired, according to Foodora.

“We have received the OLRB’s decision – we’re reviewing it and assessing how we’ll move forward with the couriers in Toronto and Mississauga. We respect the Board’s process under the Labour Relations Act,” said David Albert, managing director, foodora Canada. “We’re continuing to focus on foodora’s growth, and to operate in the best interest of our three key stakeholders: customers, vendor partners and couriers. Until the voter list is confirmed, and the unionisation application votes are counted, we cannot speculate at this time as to whether the vote will sway in favour of CUPW and what this might mean for our business moving forward. Right now, it’s business as usual.”

Jan Simpson, CUPW National President, said “This decision shows that the tide is turning towards justice for thousands of gig workers in Ontario and soon these workers will have the right to their union. CUPW is proud to be part of challenging the big app-based employers, and reshaping the future of work in favour of workers’ rights, safety, and respect.”

“This decision sets a historic precedent for precarious workers,” says Ryan White, Cavalluzzo LLP. “It vindicates the union, which has known all along that Foodora controls the way that couriers work too much for them to be classified independent contractors.”