TORONTO — The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and app-based delivery workers have expressed concerns about Ontario’s proposed Supporting Local Restaurants Act.
The legislation aims to limit fees charged by third-party food-delivery operations in areas where indoor dining is prohibited. And, while the act prohibits delivery companies from passing the financial impact of the cap onto their workers, there is concern that little has been revealed about how this would be enforced.
“The couriers we work with are already shortchanged by their app-based employers,” says Jan Simpson, CUPW national president. “We’re worried that the employers will pass the cost onto the workers, who have little to no transparency about their pay rates as it is.”
If passed, employees or contractors who perform delivery services would be able to file complaints if their compensation or payments were reduced once the act comes into effect. However, CUPW says this doesn’t offer real labour protections.
“Workers often have no idea how their pay is calculated and rates can vary wildly from hour to hour,” says Brice Sopher, a courier in Toronto. “Expecting gig workers to conclusively prove they’ve had their pay cut through some nebulous complaints process essentially allows companies like DoorDash, SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats to slash pay for couriers with very little risk of any repercussions.”
“How are workers to know, let alone prove to the government, that they’re paying for the fee cap to protect silicon-valley profits? The burden falls on the wrong people,” adds Simpson. “We demand protection for these workers.”