Landmark agreement gives over 100,000 workers on the Uber platform access to representation
As part of the agreement, Uber Canada and UFCW Canada commit to support government reforms that introduce benefits but also protect worker flexibility
TORONTO – January 27, 2022– Uber Canada and the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada) have hammered out a historic national agreement that provides over 100,000 drivers and delivery people on the Uber platform with strong representation and supports government reforms to provide drivers and delivery people new benefits and preserve the flexibility of their work. Uber Canada is a Canadian leader for on-demand rideshare and delivery technology. UFCW Canada is Canada’s largest private-sector union in the food, retail, and service sectors.
“This national agreement with Uber is just a start in advancing a better future for app-based workers,” said Paul Meinema, National President of UFCW Canada. “Over the past three years, we have worked with and advocated for thousands of drivers across the country regarding their rights, health, and safety. Labour and gig-based companies like Uber have a shared responsibility in addressing these concerns and we are committed through this new agreement with Uber to make it happen for drivers and delivery people.”
“In a quintessentially Canadian manner, we’ve come together to find common ground and blaze a new trail towards a better future for app-based workers,” said Andrew Macdonald, Senior Vice President of Global Rides and Platform for Uber. “Through this agreement, we’re prioritizing what drivers and delivery people tell us they want: enhancing their flexibility to work if, when, and where they want with a stronger voice and new benefits and protections.”
Through this agreement, UFCW Canada can provide representation if requested by drivers and delivery people facing an account deactivation or other account dispute issues, including representation throughout the existing third-party dispute resolution process. These representation services will be made available at no cost to drivers and delivery people. UFCW Canada will engage with drivers and delivery people and meet with Uber Canada on a regular basis to discuss health, safety, and other related issues.
Uber Canada and UFCW Canada have also agreed to press provincial governments to enact reforms that provide new benefits and preserve worker choice on when, where, and if to work. Uber Canada and UFCW Canada will jointly advocate for these industry-wide legislative standards – like minimum earnings standard, a benefits fund, and access to workers’ rights – across the country.
“This agreement is an important first step for drivers and delivery people on the Uber platform and across the app-based platform industry,” said Macdonald. “Working with UFCW, we’re committed to getting this done.”
“I want to assure drivers and delivery people that UFCW Canada is here for you, and ready to listen to your priorities,” added Meinema.
As Canada’s leading private-sector union, UFCW Canada has worked directly with drivers to organize and advocate for improvements, including before labour boards in Ontario and British Columbia. Uber Canada signalled their interest in engaging on these topics, having released a series of policy and research papers on the future of app-based work. This national agreement is a result of discussions between Uber Canada and UFCW Canada.