Toronto food delivery staff to unionise

Foodora bike and car couriers in Canada have announced plans to join the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Foodora is an online food ordering and delivery company similar to Deliveroo.

The company has operations in cities across Canada with a strong focus on Toronto. It charges restaurants 30% per order yet only pays their delivery staff $1 per km travelled from the restaurant to the customer’s door. They are paid an additional $4.50 that is paid directly by customers.

“What we want is simple and achievable,” says Hunter Sanassian, a bike courier, “We work in some of the most dangerous conditions in the city. Many of us have been injured on the job. All we want is to be respected as workers and paid fairly by this profitable company.”

As with many such companies, Foodora classifies the delivery staff as ‘independent contractors’ despite their getting most if not all of their work from the company. The status circumvents legal labour protections including sick time and holiday pay.

“As the gig economy grows we are seeing workers who are entirely unprotected,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “Now is the time to win rights and protections for these workers. The campaign to unionise Foodora couriers will set important precedents for labour rights. Couriers are not machines and they deserve to feel safe and respected at work.”

Speaking on May Day Cornelia Broos, Head of UNI Post&Logistics said: “Today is a day of international worker solidarity, and we are standing with the CUPW and Foodora workers in their fight for better conditions and against precarious employment,”

“Their effort to stop the erosion of basic labour protections is an important struggle in Toronto and beyond.”

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