‘It's a big change for gig workers’
Former Foodora food couriers in Canada will receive a $3.46-million settlement after their employer filed for bankruptcy and shut down its Canadian operations in April of this year.
The settlement was finalized by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Delivery Hero, the parent company for Foodora Canada.
"To lose your job during a global pandemic is stressful, but to lose it as a gig worker, with no guaranteed access to government funds is truly terrifying and we are pleased to have reached this settlement to lessen the financial stress imposed on the foodsters,” says says Jan Simpson, CUPW national president.
In February, Foodora’s couriers and drivers in Toronto and Mississauga were granted the right to unionize when the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that they were dependent contractors and not independent contractors.
That decision allowed the union certification votes, sealed since August 2019, to be counted. In June of this year, the results were announced: Almost 90 per cent of Foodora couriers voted in favour of unionizing with CUPW, becoming the first app-based workers in Canada to successfully unionize.
This recent settlement is a big change for gig workers, says Iván Ostos, Foodora courier and union organizer.
“If employers believe it is not worthwhile to do business here, we will fight to make sure workers receive what they're due."
It’s “an important victory for @FoodstersUnited and all app-based workers,” says Larry Savage, labour studies professor at Brock University, in a tweet.
“Closing this sad chapter in Canadian labour history, CUPW and Foodora Canada reach settlement for workers after company bolts Canada to avoid collective bargaining,” says David Doorey, a law professor at York University, in a Twitter post.