Labour Council Expresses Anger That Gig Workers Get Less Rights And Protections

0

The North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council is rejecting recommendations from Ontario’s Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC) which has recommended that gig workers, like those who work for Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, and others, receive less rights and protections than every other worker in the Province.

The OWRAC recommendations were generated without any input from groups representing workers such as unions or labour activists, and did not hold any open consultations.  “Many of us think that gig work is just a side-hustle.  A second job that people may take on to make a little bit of extra money.  That is really not at all the case,” said Mike De Rose, President of the Labour Council.  “In fact, gig work is a full time job for many, and workers in that sector are treated unfairly by their employers because they are designated as independent contractors, which allows big profitable companies to avoid providing the same job benefits and security that all other jobs have.”  The Labour Council, the Canadian Labour Congress, and the Ontario Federation of Labour have all pointed out that if these recommendations turn into legislation, many companies may be incentivized to switch the designation of their own workforce to “independent contractors’, which will allow them to deny those workers basic employment rights.

“This is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy,” said De Rose, “and because it’s new, our current employment legislation fails to protect workers within it.  Gig workers are not guaranteed a minimum wage, or sick days, or benefits.  They don’t even have equal access to EI or CPP.”  Due to the lack of employment standards, most gig workers are vulnerable workers.  Mostly, they work in isolation, as their job rarely has workers operating in one location, or with other workers close by.  The Labour Council believes all workers should be afforded the right to form or join a union, especially vulnerable workers.

“This is what Uber and app-based companies wanted,“ says Jennifer Scott, President of Gig Workers United.  “They lobbied for the creation of a third category of worker and for portable benefits.  If the Committee and the Ontario government cared about workers in a just recovery, they wouldn’t kneel to app-based employers lobbying for legislative change to enshrine worker precarity into law”.

The Labour Council is calling on all workers and concerned citizens in our region to help support gig workers by signing on to the Gig Workers’ Bill of Rights (https://ofl.ca/action/gig-workers/).  “We have relied so heavily on gig workers throughout this pandemic.  They’ve delivered our food or groceries, or given us rides when we needed them.  They deserve to earn a decent living, and to be treated with the same respect as non-gig workers,” shared De Rose

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!

Please enter your name here