Uber has rough road ahead as its Toronto drivers join UFCW union

IT seems that Uber has a rough road ahead.

Hundreds of Uber drivers in Toronto have joined UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union), the country’s leading private-sector union. On Wednesday, June 26 at 11 a.m., Uber drivers and their union will hold a media conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel to discuss the challenges Uber drivers face, and the redress they and their union are seeking from Uber.

According to UFCW Canada, Uber drivers don’t get paid sick days, vacation days or extended health coverage, and must cover their own fuel and repair costs. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute calculated that after costs, most Uber drivers earned less than $10 an hour.

“Uber calls us partners, but we have absolutely no say about our working conditions, or even being able to take a bathroom break,” says Ejaz Butt, who works for Uber and helped start the union drive. “We know we make a lot of money for Uber but in return we get treated like we don’t matter.” Butt and other Uber drivers will be at the June 26 Toronto media conference.

“Companies like UBER, who can hire and fire drivers and fully dictate the terms of employment should be held accountable for the well-being of their employees,” says Paul Meinema, National President of UFCW Canada.“Uber is the employer. The drivers are employees. The technology is just a management tool and the company should adhere to the labour laws.”  Meinema will also be participating in the media conference.

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