Just Recovery for All: Endorse Workers Recommendations to the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee

Workers met with the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC) today to expose the reality of app-based work at companies like Uber, Lyft and Skip the Dishes. These workers spoke to low wages, lack of safety and no control over their work. Ride-hailing and delivery workers have played an essential role in keeping us going during the pandemic. Yet, they are denied basic rights available to all other workers. That is why workers are coming together to demand that the OWRAC and the government protect app-based gig workers' rights and raise the floor for all workers. 

The Ontario government struck the OWRAC in June. The Ontario government has tasked the Committee with "leading the future of work in Ontario." Although, it has no representation from workers or labour and employment law experts. To make matters worse, the Committee has also only been given a month to complete their report making it impossible to have a substantive consultation process. The review also comes shortly after Uber launched its "Flexible Work+" campaign -- modelled after Proposition 22. Proposition 22 was the California ballot initiative on which Uber and other gig employers spent upwards of $224 million to take away employment status and protection from app-based workers in California. 

While calling on the Committee to be revised to ensure equal participation of workers and allow for adequate time for transparent consultations; we are also pressing the Committee to recognize that app-based workers are employees and should be entitled to basic employment protections. While the technology of app-based companies is new, their misclassification of employees is not new or unique. We demand that the Committee address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors in all sectors and close this loophole that employers use to skirt their responsibilities to employees. 

The pandemic has exposed that essential work is mainly done by low-wage workers in precarious and dangerous workplaces. Therefore, any review of the employment standards in Ontario must prioritize raising the floor for precarious and low-wage workers. As such, we are calling on the Committee to improve wages and working conditions by meeting the demands made by workers through the Justice for Workers: Decent Work for All campaign. 

Please read and endorse the joint submission by the Workers' Action Centre and the Parkdale Community Legal Services to the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee

Click here to send your endorsement to the Committee or e-mail the message below to [email protected]


Sample Message

I am writing you today to support the submission made by the Workers' Action Centre and the Parkdale Community Legal Services on July 28.

App-based workers are employees and should be entitled to basic employment protections. While the technology of app-based companies is new, their misclassification of employees is not new or unique. I am urging the Committee to address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors in all sectors and close this loophole that employers use to skirt their responsibilities to employees.

The pandemic has exposed that essential work is mainly done by low-wage workers in precarious and dangerous workplaces. Any review of the employment standards in Ontario must prioritize raising the floor for precarious and low-wage workers.

This is why I am supporting the recommendations made by workers on July 28 and I will be following this review process closely.

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