2,000 couriers abandoned as Foodora pulls out of Canada
As platform-based food delivery service, Foodora, prepares to end operations in Canada on 11 May, UNI has joined calls to demand the company reverses its decision to cast off more than 2,000 frontline workers in the middle of a pandemic.
Foodora, which is present in 10 cities across Canada, suddenly announced it was filing for bankruptcy on 27 April, giving its couriers just two weeks’ notice to find new work, and leaving them unsure whether they qualify for state support.
However, UNI Global Union affiliate, CUPW-STTP, says the multinational platform service is raking in profits and can easily afford to support operations in Canada. The company has reported a 92 per cent increase in revenues in the first quarter of 2020.
In a letter to Niklas Östberg the CEO of Foodora’s German-based parent company, Delivery Hero, UNI says:
“It is clear that your success lies in treating workers unfairly, with poor wages, no benefits and few health and safety considerations. These workers are the reason you have revenues in excess of €1.4 billion, money you accumulate by exploiting their labour.
“We call on you and your subsidiary, Foodora, to immediately reverse this cruel act and instead, invest in workers as you should. Delivery Hero is a giant multinational corporation that can more than afford to continue operations at this time.”
In a recent, precedent-setting ruling by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, CUPW achieved recognition of Foodora couriers as dependent contractors, paving the way for workers to organize and join a trade union. “We have been supporting the efforts of CUPW-STTP to organise and fight for these Foodora delivery workers for a long time. They are the victim of a bogus 'self – employment' model which is based on denying social protection and legal rights to workers with the hollow promise of independence and freedom. This decision by the Labour Board was a big, important step towards changing this. Together with its affiliates, UNI Post&Logistics will continue the work to change this model and will continue to fight for all workers, no matter what their employment status, to have the rights to organise and bargain collectively in Canada and globally,” says Cornelia Berger, Head of UNI Post&Logistics.
Now, Delivery Hero is pulling the plug on Foodora in Canada, which owes money to workers, the Canadian Revenue Agency and the Workers Compensation Board, as well as restaurants and other creditors. CUPW says Foodora has repeatedly ignored suggestions from workers to improve the service it offers.