Uber’s pitch to provinces about eluding Employment Standards Act, say lawyers
The Law Times talks to Josh Mandryk about Uber’s lobbying efforts
The Law Times is reporting on Uber Canada’s efforts to convince provinces to force it to provide some benefits and protections for app-based gig workers.
While that might sound positive, Uber appears to be attempting to create an underclass of gig workers who would be denied the minimum employment standards protections that are available to most other workers. Hosh Mandryk explained:
“Uber has framed its proposal in its public announcement as asking the province to require it to provide certain benefits. However, what Uber is, in fact, doing is they are lobbying Ontario and the other provinces to exempt drivers from employment standards,” says Joshua Mandryk, a labour lawyer at Goldblatt Partners LLP.
“Uber could provide these benefits right now. Uber sort of insinuates in its messaging that it somehow can’t provide these benefits right now, when there’s nothing at law that prevents it from doing so,” he says.
“This is deeply concerning. And this is an entirely wrongheaded approach,” says Mandryk. “The government should not be creating a permanent underclass of workers, it should not be trapping Uber couriers and drivers into sub-minimum wage, precarious employment. It should be taking steps to support and enforce their rights.”