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As we head into a 2nd wave of the COVID pandemic in Toronto and Canada, couriers have once again been labeled as essential workers. We’re delivering food, over the counter medicines and groceries, risking our health and safety with only meagre protections. This pandemic has been hard on all of us: we are struggling to get by, and struggling to access benefits when there has been no work, or when we get sick.
We are issuing a set of DEMANDS to our employers and a CALL FOR SOLIDARITY to customers, the public and allies.
To Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes, Facedrive, Amazon Flex, Instacart, Cornershop and beyond, as the workers doing the delivery work for your apps, we demand the following for our health and safety:
Do you order-in food? Please do so safely, and think about both the restaurants and the workers delivering your food.
Here’s how you can do that:
April 17, 2020
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is changing by the week and we are trying to put out up-to-date information for you all. Vital health and safety measures are also being fought for those who are working - please read below.
CERB: This week the government announced a ‘relaxing of criteria’ for CERB for those who are gig workers, contract workers or part time workers. These changes, while not ideal, have come about because of the combined efforts of union and worker solidarity. We have continued to organize and push the government to include us by providing the support we need as precarious workers.
What the government announced this week was:
They also announced a wage boost for essential workers who are earning less than $2500 a month but the details of this are still unclear and we will let you know as soon as we find out more.
See the full government announcement here:
And the government FAQ here:
Courier Resource Document:
Making CERB available to those who are still working and earning less than $1000 a month is a start but it’s not enough!
The changes this week are still not enough - the government can and must lift the overly restrictive criteria and ensure no one is left behind.
Last week we organized quickly to pressure the government to make the changes to CERB that gig workers need. We need to keep up the pressure now more than ever to ensure no one is left behind!
Contact your MP today to demand removal of barriers to CERB for all precarious workers: http://foodstersunited.ca/take-action
Health and Safety while working: What is Foodora doing to keep workers safe?
The union has sent several letters to Foodora on the issue of health and safety, asking them to come to the table to discuss the health and safety of workers. They have refused to even respond.
We need to collectively continue to fight for:
Couriers have self organized distribution of cloth masks because the company still fails to provide it let alone reply to the request from workers
The company still has not implemented safety protocols on no-contact delivery for workers especially in condos. It is still all upon the customers request or whatever that particular condo has in place.
Foodora is prioritizing customers needs before workers safety - they are required by law to institute basic provisions under occupational health and safety, but are failing to do so.
Our health and safety is essential, not just our labour.
Foodsters are Foodora’s workforce. On bikes, cars, electric scooters, and at least one electric unicycle, we deliver food from restaurants to homes and offices. You may recognize our distinctive pink backpacks. We use an app to accept orders and pick up shifts. We are paid between $4.50-$7.50 an order. We are not paid when we don’t get orders. Foodora is basically our boss, but claims we’re “independent contractors” in order to avoid paying benefits, offering sick days, or offering raises.
Our work is fast-paced and dangerous. We often have to choose between safety and speed to deliver as many orders as possible just to make ends meet. We work outdoors in wind, in rain, and in -25 with blowing snow. For those of us on bikes, a car door might open at any minute. Cars or bikes could be hit by a careless driver leaving us unable to work. Despite our high injury rates we have no paid sick days and often have to work when injured.
Justice for Foodora Couriers is a drive to unionize Foodora couriers to improve conditions. We are challenging the paradigm of precarious work. Companies like foodora strip labour protections from workers under the guise of “innovation,” by calling us “independent contractors.” But we can work together to assert our rights. United, we can win fair pay for our dangerous work, the ability to recover when sick or injured, and a respectful workplace free from harassment and intimidation.
What couriers want from foodora is simple and achievable: