The Federation of Labour wants to ensure that opening the door to ride sharing services includes worker protections.
President Jessica McCormick says as demand for more accessible transit options grows, government must also ensure that workers are safe and treated fairly by their employers.
Other jurisdictions are grappling with the whole system of app based services as worker rights can sometimes be lost in the shuffle.
She says now is the time for the provincial government to review what is happening in other provinces before the ride sharing services take off.
She cautions that companies like Uber misclassify drivers as independent contractors which results in a loss of access to basic employment rights like the ability to unionize, access minimum wage, EI and CPP and worker’s compensation if they are injured on the job.
She says other jurisdictions are taking steps to address what she calls the precarious working conditions of ride-hailing and food delivery drivers.
Cab Companies Weigh In
Chris Hollett of Jiffy Cabs finds government’s statement that ride-sharing services will benefit the taxi industry perplexing. He says experiences in other cities show that it resulted in about a 30 per cent reduction in business.
He says their app does the same thing as apps in the Uber-type world—allowing customers to book and track their cab and increasing efficiency and response time.
He says the average dispatch time in 26 seconds and average pickup time is 4:52. Hollett says the timing of the new legislation seems odd, especially given that they are just getting back to pre-COVID numbers.