Labour Board rules Foodora couriers are dependent contractors, eligible for union

Labour Board rules Foodora couriers are dependent contractors, eligible for union
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TORONTO — The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that Foodora couriers are dependent contractors of the food-delivery company, clearing a hurdle towards potential unionization and setting a major precedent for other workers in the gig economy.

Foodora couriers held a vote last August on whether to join the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, but the results were sealed pending challenges over the employment status of the couriers and whether they were eligible to unionize.

In its ruling Tuesday, the labour board decided the couriers work for Foodora and not themselves, in what it notes is its first decision with respect to workers in the gig economy.

Jan Simpson, CUPW national president, says the decision has implications for thousands of gig workers in Ontario who will have a right to unionize.

Ivan Ostos, a Foodora courier, says he helped work on the unionization campaign because of the stakes of the fight to give gig workers a voice in their working conditions.

Foodora said it is reviewing the decision and is assessing how it will move forward with the couriers in Toronto and Mississauga.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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