Foodora Canada’s move to leave the market is a cruel act by a multinational corporation in the middle of a pandemic. Food delivery couriers, like postal workers, have been continuing to provide a vital service in the pandemic, yet Foodora has provided zero safety protocols, PPE, or supports.
Foodora couriers – aka Foodsters United – have been organizing for two years and almost a full year with CUPW’s Justice for Foodora Couriers public campaign. This work has been groundbreaking on so many levels, challenging all gig employers everywhere to treat workers with fairness and respect.
CUPW doesn’t plan to let Foodora and their parent company Delivery Hero off the hook, and the couriers themselves remain determined to be part of the worldwide effort to fix working conditions in the gig economy.
The Justice for Foodora Couriers campaign launched on May Day 2019, and in August, CUPW filed an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for bargaining rights to represent them. The OLRB held a vote in August.
In February, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that the couriers are dependent contractors (not independent contractors, as the employer argued), an employment status that carries the legal right to unionize. By misclassifying its workers as independent contractors, Foodora had avoided its responsibilities as an employer, including legal obligations for benefits, sick leave and basic worker rights. But pending the resolution of some other challenges, the results of last August’s representation vote have not yet been released.
On April 29, CUPW filed an unfair labour practice complaint. Closing down operations to defeat a union organizing drive is against the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
Delivery Hero, Foodora’s parent company just announced that its first-quarter revenue for 2020 nearly doubled over last year. Demand has been surging during the pandemic lockdown all around the world. It’s suspicious timing, to say the least, for their Canadian subsidiary to claim they can’t see a path to success.
The Foodsters have immediately regrouped to plan how to support one another and get through this experience together. The legacy of the Justice for Foodora Couriers campaign is just taking shape.
The foodsters have been running this campaign with true hearts and dedicated trade-union values. We should all be proud and inspired by what they have built so far.
Please support their hardship fund: Couriers have been given two weeks notice from the company in the middle of a pandemic. Please donate and show your love to the couriers: https://fundrazr.com/FoodstersUnited
All of these support actions and contact information are available at https://foodstersunited.ca