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.

During the first two years of the agreement, UFCW Canada has helped over 450 drivers and delivery people regain access to their account or resolve another account-related issue. Learn more about what the partnership has achieved in two years here.

In January 2022, Uber Canada and the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada) 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.” 

This agreement enables UFCW Canada to 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 are available at no cost to drivers and delivery people. UFCW Canada engages with drivers and delivery people and meets with Uber Canada on a regular basis to discuss health, safety, and other related issues. UFCW Canada also provides quarterly updates to drivers and delivery people on how the agreement is working for them.        

Under this agreement, 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. The package includes: 

  • Flexibility – Preserve choice on when, where, and if to work. 
  • Earning Standard – At least 120% of minimum wage during Engaged Time.
  • Industry-Wide Benefits Fund – All platforms would create a benefits fund that would give funding to spend on chosen benefits. The benefits fund would scale with time spent working across all platforms. 
  • Notice of Termination Entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu. 
  • Health and Safety Protections – Entitled to occupational accident coverage that covers injuries sustained during Engaged Time.
  • Representation Rights – Access rights including access to joining a union and collective bargaining. 

In a February 2022 survey, 89% of all drivers and delivery people working on the Uber platform expressed support for this package of reforms. 91% indicate that flexibility and control of their schedule are extremely important to them. 

“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.