Ride-hailing drivers in B.C. should be entitled to benefits, union says
UFCW Local 1518 asks Labour Relations Board to rule that drivers be considered employees, not contractors
The union representing drivers for ride-hailing companies in Canada is pushing for them to be considered as employees and not independent contractors in B.C.
United Food and Commercial Workers local 1518 filed an application to the Labour Relations Board of B.C. on Wednesday, asking the board to rule that ride-hailing drivers should be considered employees and therefore protected under the province's labour laws around safety and minimum wage.
UFCW Canada has signed up close to 300 Uber drivers in the Toronto area and is currently seeking certification.The private sector union represents 250,000 members across a broad spectrum of Canadian industries.
Drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are classified as independent contractors in most jurisdictions where they operate, meaning they do not receive benefits like a minimum wage, paid sick days, vacation days or extended health coverage.
It's a labour issue that ride-hailing companies are facing around the world. Earlier this month, the state of New Jersey ordered Uber to pay $650 million in unemployment taxes because the government considers the drivers to be employees.
Ride-hailing is not yet available in B.C. but is expected to launch before the end of the year.