Opening the Door to Ride Share Must Include Protections for Workers

October 23, 2023

St. John’s, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour responded to today’s announcement on a provincial approach to ride sharing by calling on government to ensure ride-hailing companies comply with Newfoundland and Labrador labour legislation and ensure drivers have labour protections.

“As demand for more accessible transit options grows, government must also ensure workers are safe and treated fairly by their employers,” said Jessica McCormick, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour. “Companies such as Uber misclassify drivers as independent contractors which results in a loss of access to basic employment rights such as the ability to unionize, access minimum wage, EI and CPP, and access workers’ compensation when they are injured on the job.”

In other jurisdictions, governments are taking steps to address the precarious working conditions of ride-hailing and food delivery drivers. In British Columbia, the provincial government is undertaking a review and developing solutions to address poor working conditions for app-based ride-hailing drivers and food delivery drivers. In California, gig workers struggling for fair compensation have appealed to the California State Supreme Court pushing for fair pay and protections for gig workers.

“Amending legislation to make it easier for billion-dollar, multi-national companies like Uber to operate in our province without any consultation with workers on the impacts of such changes is a disrespect to the working class who keep our province and economy running,” continued McCormick. “I wish government moved this swiftly to change legislation to protect workers.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour is calling on government to require app-based employers to provide basic protections under labour standards and end the misclassification of app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery drivers. The NLFL also calls for public consultation on any proposed legislative amendments, including consultation with app-based workers and labour unions.

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