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Toronto Uber drivers one step closer to unionizing

TORONTO, June 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada), the union for Uber drivers in Canada, will be participating in an Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) hearing tomorrow that could help Uber Black drivers in Toronto take one more step towards full union representation at work.A 
The hearing comes after more than 300 Uber Black limousine and SUV drivers working in and out of Toronto Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto became the first ride-sharing workers in Canada to apply for unionization in January of this year.A At issue in the hearing, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be the scope of the bargaining unit and whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors. The union believes it has met the threshold of support needed to gain certification as the official bargaining agent of drivers, while the employer is disputing the scope of the bargaining unit. The union also holds that drivers are employees of Uber and not independent contractors, as the company claims.a??The rights of Uber drivers are still being abused, and we continue to be taken advantage of,a?? says Irfan Muhammad, a Toronto-based Uber Black driver who supports unionization. a??COVID-19 has made matters worse by significantly reducing demand for rides, which means that drivers like myself are facing a massive loss of income.a??a??We need union representation to help ensure that we are paid for the hours that we work, to provide just cause protection so that drivers do not lose their jobs from a single bad rating, and to make sure that we are treated fairly as business returns and we start to come out of this crisis,a?? Muhammad adds. A 
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