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Why

We are a group of drivers for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft who have come together to confront low wages, a lack of benefits, unsafe working conditions, and job insecurity.

Companies like Uber and Lyft hide behind technology so they can avoid responsibility to their drivers. They declare themselves “apps” and not employers so they don’t have to abide by the Employment Standards Act and treat workers with dignity. And they’ve gotten away with it. Until now.

We’re fighting for fairness for ride-hailing drivers. Learn how you can join us below.

Our objectives:

  • Union Protection
    • Currently, drivers can be terminated without due notice based on false or inaccurate customer reports. Your Union will fight for you and ensure that big corporations like Uber use proper processes to resolve customer and driver issues.
  • Safe Workplace
    • App-based drivers are one of the most at-risk workers and should be protected by the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, the same basic protections all workers in British Columbia receive.
  • Fair Wages & Benefits
    • App-based drivers deserve fair wages and it’s not fair for big corporations like Uber to reap huge profits while their drivers struggle to make a living. Every driver also deserves access to paid sick days and health benefits.

Your Rights

The Canada Labour Code ensures you have the following legal rights:

You are free to decide to join or not join a union.

Your employer cannot fire you, suspend you, transfer you, lay you off, refuse to continue employing you or otherwise discriminate against you for being involved with the process of forming a union.

You are free to express your views on unionization without reprisal.

Fighting for driver safety

UFCW 1518 is fighting back after Uber fired drivers who refused unsafe work.

Learn more

FAQ

Who is UFCW 1518?

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 is British Columbia’s largest private-sector union with more than 24,000 members in British Columbia and the Yukon. UFCW 1518 has offices located in New Westminster, Kelowna, and Victoria and represents workers in Retail, Food Processing, Healthcare, and Professional Services. We represent workers at Save-On-Foods, Safeway, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Urban Far, Shoppers Drug Mart, and many others.

Why join a union if I’m an independent contractor and not an employee?

Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are fighting hard against drivers forming unions because they know that united drivers will force them to change. But they haven’t been winning in the courts – workers have won again and again. By joining a union, you send a powerful message to ride-hailing companies that they must treat you with respect, dignity, and better working conditions. That’s what we’re fighting for.

How will a union make my job better?

As a union member, you will gain the power of collective bargaining!

With the assistance of union staff, workers bargain with employers to negotiate a fair and binding employment contract. This contract will establish your wages, benefits, and other priorities like consistent scheduling and health and safety provisions.

Your union will enforce this agreement and ensure all other employment laws are respected.

What positive changes can a union make to my job?

You will decide with your co-workers what changes your union will push for. Here are some of the common improvements we bargain for:

  • A Stronger Voice at Work:
    The fight for fairness starts with workers gaining the power to change their working environment. Coming together with your coworkers will give you the power to make your jobs better for you and those who come after you. We are stronger together!
  • Your Voice Matters:
    Many drivers are scared of being deactivated if they talk about joining a union, their wages, and other conditions at work. With a union, you don’t need to worry about facing reprisals for standing up for your rights.
  • Health & Safety:
    UFCW 1518 will work with you to create a strong Joint Health and Safety Committee to discuss health and safety issues while driving, hours, and mental health.
  • Better Wages:
    At bare minimum, UFCW 1518 will fight for ride-hailing drivers to be classified as employees, which means they are eligible for the minimum wage.
  • Enforceable Employment Contact:
    All unionized workplaces have a mutually agreed upon employment contract known as a collective agreement. This collective agreement will secure the working conditions workers have today and will prevent all unwanted changes during the term of the agreement. Your employer is legally obligated to negotiate with your union in “good faith.”
  • Professional Advocacy and Support:
    With a union, workers are not left on their own to deal with management. Union members have access to union representatives, labour lawyers, and Workers Compensation lawyers, as well as any other consultation your union determines is needed to help you solve your issues at work.

How much does this cost?

There is no cost to join until you vote in your first collective agreement. Once that happens, your dues will be no more than 2% of your earnings. Since unions are non-profit organizations, your dues are 100% tax deductible. The higher wages, rights and benefits that come with unionization are well worth the small cost associated with joining!

Will Uber or Lyft know if I signed a union membership card?

No, Uber and Lyft will never know who signed the cards, just as they will never know if you voted. The entire process is designed by the government to be anonymous.