Toronto Foodora Couriers to Vote on Union Certification

Couriers for Foodora hope to be Canada’s first unionized workforce of app-based workers.

According to a new report from CBC, Toronto couriers for Foodora, an online food delivery company, are preparing to vote on union certification in what would be Canada’s first unionized workforce of app-based workers.

An application made by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers months after a campaign based on working conditions was filed last week with the Ontario Labour Relations Boards, explains the report.

The CUPW says that the Foodora couriers seek to negotiate a new compensation model, new safety and health protections for injured workers, and recognition of basic worker rights that aren’t recognized by the company, which classifies couriers as independent contractors.

According to the report, workers are paid a scant $4.50 per order plus $1 per kilometre between the restaurant and the delivery address. Restaurants pay Foodora up to 30 percent of the order total.

The couriers plan to unionize with the CUPW — but the union complains that the company is using 21st century union-busting tactics to disrupt the certification vote.

In a statement this week, the CUPW said it filed a formal “unfair labour practice” complaint against Foodora with the Ontario Labour Relations Board, alleging the online food delivery company is “spreading lies and misinformation” through direct push notifications sent to their workers’ mobile phones.

“Foodora has attacked the union drive by threatening the income of its couriers through emails and directly messaging them on the app that they use for work,” the union alleges, accusing management of trying to “scare couriers into voting ‘no.'”

Voting begins on Friday and ends Tuesday.