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Uber says new B.C. rules will increase costs, reduce demand for restaurants

BY The Canadian Press, Jun 13, 2024 8:01 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

At the same time, Unifor, the country's largest private-sector union says B.C.'s changes are leading the way to enshrine the basic rights of the gig workers.(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Uber says regulation changes for ride-share and delivery workers in British Columbia will drive up costs and reduce demands for local restaurants.

The company says in a statement that it supports some of the new rules coming in September, such as an increased minimum wage and health and safety coverage, but forcing platforms to pay workers for using a personal vehicle is "unreasonable."

At the same time, Unifor, the country's largest private-sector union says B.C.'s changes are leading the way to enshrine the basic rights of the gig workers.

The Ministry of Labour announced this week the first-in-Canada regulations will take effect on Sept. 3, including setting a minimum hourly wage for the time workers are engaged on the job at $20.88.

The rules also ensure 100 per cent of customers' tips go to the worker, that they are covered through B.C.'s workers' compensation agency and that they receive a 35- to 45-cent per-kilometre vehicle allowance.

Uber says in a statement issued Thursday the changes would make the ride-share expense rate in B.C. 50 per cent higher that the comparable rate in California.

The company says it encourages "the government to reconsider the consequences for British Columbians who rely on ride-share and delivery."

Unifor western regional director Gavin McGarrigle says in a statement that gig workers are some of the most exploited and under-represented workers in B.C.'s economy.

Unifor says gig workers also deserve unique legal tools to form their own unions.

They say unionizing can be a struggle because of the lack of transparency around these type of companies' total local workforce.

Union votes are triggered in B.C. after 45 per cent of a certifiable group signs a union card.

"However, without accurate knowledge of the threshold, the organizing efforts are more likely to fail or stall. Unifor has lobbied for employers to be forced to provide a payroll list after 20 per cent of workers sign union cards," the union says

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