"In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora"
February 26, 2020 5:33 AM   Subscribe

"The couriers are selected by Foodora and required to deliver food on the terms and conditions determined by Foodora in accordance with Foodora's standards. In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora, and not themselves." In a "historic precedent for precarious workers", the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled (PDF) that Foodora workers are eligible to join a union. The votes they cast months ago to unionize (previously) can now be counted.
posted by clawsoon (11 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
It’s about time someone started pounding a stake into the heart of the “gig economy.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:44 AM on February 26 [24 favorites]

posted by PMdixon at 6:16 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]

Having a category for independent/contract workers seems like a necessary thing, and definitely appropriate to some situations. But the current approach where companies use it as a completely obvious dodge to avoid even the most minimal of workplace protections needs to be stopped. I am glad to see these local and incremental wins and eventually I'd like to see this settled at a broader level.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on February 26 [7 favorites]

These gig economy jobs are a very good vector for revitalizing labor organizing since, by definition, this work cannot be outsourced or off-shored; the people doing the work are creating all of the value of the service.

Now it remains to be seen whether these gig economy run apps are even viable when they're not fueled by deep and obvious exploitation.
posted by Reyturner at 7:15 AM on February 26 [17 favorites]


One of my online friends was an organizer for this.
posted by scruss at 7:51 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]

Back in the early eighties, I was questioned by an IRS employee, in his home, on off hours, about the use of contractors at Apple, where I worked. Why? The IRS was really cracking down on companies that were moving employees into contractor positions to cut labor costs. This was a big deal then. I guess the IRS doesn’t care anymore.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:30 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]

The IRS has been steadily de-funded by Republicans, to the point that they only have the resources to audit everyone except the wealthy. It may be less about the IRS not caring than about it being deliberately shackled by the Republicans
posted by Gelatin at 8:36 AM on February 26 [16 favorites]

It's positively embarrassing how often a welcome change in the law comes not from my elected representatives, but from the un-elected judiciary instead.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 8:44 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]

I believe these services can operate profitably as worker-owned co-ops. As vulture-capital rent extraction machines, I hope to fuck not.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:26 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]

Wow, something good out of this hell government. Doug must be pissed!
posted by rodlymight at 10:03 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I believe these services can operate profitably as worker-owned co-ops.

I think some of them can. The dense urban areas can support worker-owned companies that pay wages. In more sparsely populated areas, there may not be enough business for that. The end result may be "five smaller food delivery companies in big cities, and none in suburbs."

I don't know of a fix for that, but it needs to not be "people working in big cities can't get guaranteed hours or rates and also are expected to take every offer or they lose work for two days."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:44 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

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