‘They have paved the way for all precarious workers to gain rights and unionize’
A majority (88.8 per cent) of Foodora couriers and drivers in Toronto and Mississauga voted in favour of unionization with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), becoming the first app-based workforce in Canada to do so.
"People said gig workers can't be organized, but these workers just proved that you can," says Jan Simpson, CUPW national president. "Just because Foodora left doesn't take away what these workers achieved. They have paved the way for all precarious workers to gain rights and unionize, and we are honoured to stand by them and support them, and all other gig workers in the struggles to come."
The Ontario Labour Relations Board unsealed and counted the ballots nine months after the union certification vote. The votes were counted after the board ruled in February that Foodora couriers are dependent contractors. It also came after Foodora announced its exit from Canada in April.
The outcome is “the culmination of an over year-long unionization campaign by dedicated riders and drivers fighting for respect as workers, better health and safety protections and fair compensation for the work they perform,” says CUPW. A hearing related to the union drive of Foodora workers began on Sept. 10, 2019.
In May, CUPW called on the federal government to ‘protect’ Foodora workers after the delivery service announced it is leaving the Canadian market amid the COVID-19 pandemic.