While Foodora announced in April that it’s shutting down its Canadian operations, its Toronto and Mississauga drivers, nevertheless, have voted to join the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, making them the first app-based workforce to unionize.
“The truth is free — we are a union and we deserve respect and rights from our employer,” said Iván Ostos, a courier who’s worked towards the unionization, in a press release. “Many doubted that workers in this era wanted or needed a union. Through conversations, companionship and the dedication of hard-working foodsters, we came together to achieve something many said was impossible. I am so thankful for all the couriers that dedicated themselves to this campaign.”
The Ontario Labour Relations Board’s eventual unsealing and counting of the Foodora workers’ ballots came after the board ruled in February that couriers and drivers were dependent rather than independent contractors and could therefore unionize.
“People said gig workers can’t be organized, but these workers just proved that you can,” said Jan Simpson, national president of the CUPW. “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.”