May 19, 2020
Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Labour
House of Commons
On April 27, Foodora abruptly announced the closure of all their Canadian operations effective May 11, 2020. Shortly after, the company announced its intention to file for bankruptcy.
These announcements will likely result in the default of payments owed to a long list of Canadian businesses as well as the Canada Revenue Agency and the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Most disturbingly, over 3,000 employees who work as couriers for the company will be left behind. Those who worked as couriers have been misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. This is a tactic used by some employers in the “gig/app economy” to deny workers rights and benefits that other Canadian workers usually depend on. By misclassifying these workers, employers also escape their financial obligations under the Canadian Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan laws.
The result of this misuse of Canadian labour laws has been to deny thousands of workers the right to severance/ termination pay, vacation pay and wages owing. The actions of Foodora are unacceptable, particularly during this pandemic where workers are even more vulnerable.
The federal government must take immediate action to fix this. I urge you to:
- Immediately put an end to the practice of classifying workers employed in the “gig economy” as independent contractors,
- Proactively designate former Foodora workers eligible for the Wage Earner Protection Program,
- Intervene in the Foodora bankruptcy proceedings and demand that terminated employees be treated as creditors.
Minister, your prompt attention to this matter is essential. No Canadian worker should be denied their rights because of corporate greed. Those who worked for Foodora must be given the same protection as other Canadian workers.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your immediate response.
Scott Duvall, MP Hamilton Mountain