BC must ensure on-demand digital platforms stop denying protections to workers

June 21, 2023

The Vancouver & District Labour Council endorses the recent open letter by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Centre for Future Work, calling for action to protect workers in app-based industries.

The letter calls for the following:

  • A clear test should be established to evaluate whether workers on a platform are genuinely independent businesses or contractors in their own right, or are in effect employees (based on factors including the extent of platform control over the worker’s assigned tasks, compensation, equipment, and service standards, and the diversity of the worker’s customer base).
  • Where this test confirms that platform workers are not genuinely independent businesses in their own right, full coverage by minimum wage, notice for termination, WorkSafe, and other normal employment standards must be guaranteed and enforced.
  • Any business entity that engages workers (including platforms) must accept full legal responsibility and liability for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in its service.
  • All provincial payroll-based programs (in particular, WorkSafe and the Employer Health Tax) must apply equally and fairly to platform businesses and their workers.
  • The government should confirm that platform workers have full rights to organize unions (utilizing B.C.’s single-step certification procedure), negotiate collectively with their platforms, and take collective action (including strike action) in support of their demands.

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