ATU Canada Is Calling On All Workers To Resist Ride Share Company Policy Reform By Any Means Necessary


March 12 2021

Silicon Valley Is Attempting To Worsen Provincial Labour Laws, Not Improve Them

The Canadian President of the Amalgamated Transit Union says that the “flexible+” labour policy reforms that Silicon Valley is pushing across the provinces will take workers back 100 years.

“Before the advent of unions in our economy, workers did dangerous piecemeal work. There was no employment insurance and no public pension. There were declining rates of pay and unreasonable working expectations. Our unions were created to fight against this economic disenfranchisement. We left this model a century ago and Silicon Valley is trying to take us back and rebrand this as modernization,” said President John Di Nino.

Di Nino is referring to a recently announced policy framework by rideshare companies that are seeking to change provincial laws so that these companies do not have to officially recognize drivers as employees. Recognizing them as employees would mean that companies would have to adhere to Employment Standards, CPP and EI regulations. 

“The real intent of the Flexible+ model is reshaping who is a worker and who isn’t. Private rideshare companies do not want their employees to be able to unionize. They are trying to create new classification to suit their bottom line and workers in Canada should resist this. We stand in solidarity with organizations such as Gig Workers United, CUPW, UFCW and RideFairTO in organized rank and file resistance to the further exploitation of rideshare drivers.”

App-based rideshare companies have lost landmark legal cases all over the world. The Supreme Court of Canada recognized the unfair bargaining power the companies hold over its workers. In the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court ruled the drivers are indeed employees.

“The courts see right through their misclassification scheme so the approach taken by Silicon Valley is to spend a lot of money on lobbying to reshape the laws in their favour,” added Di Nino. “After the State of California legislated that the drivers are employees and the company must pay into state benefits, Silicon Valley spent over $200-million to change the law. Silicon Valley is not just posing an economic threat, they pose a political threat to Canadian democracy. Workers must collectively resist.”  


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Sam Hersh


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