BCFED calls for full employment rights for trucking and food delivery workers – Indo-Canadian Voice

INCREDIBLY Under new provincial regulations introduced Wednesday, daycare and food delivery workers will still not receive the same workplace benefits and protections as other workers in BC, the BC Federation of Labor says.

Under the rules announced today, trucking and food delivery workers are denied basic protections such as paid sick leave, statutory holiday pay and overtime, said BCFED President Sussanne Skidmore.

Along with community organizations and trucking and food delivery workers, BCFED has fought for several years to ensure that these workers have equal protection in the workplace. During the provincial governments’ recent consultation process, BCFED shared extensive evidence about the day-to-day challenges of online platform work, including long hours, poor pay, lack of health and safety protections and few benefits.

Hail and food workers deserve dignity, fair compensation, safe working conditions and the ability to participate fully in community and family life. They deserve the same standard protections afforded to other workers in our province, Skidmore said.

She cited the employer-promoted and government-endorsed part-time model, in which workers will only be paid for part of the time they work. Although the government proposed to compensate for this discrepancy with an increase in the minimum wage, Skidmore said it was nowhere near enough.

Evidence from other jurisdictions shows that, once you account for all the time worked, that small top-up won’t even come close to bringing a typical worker up to minimum wage, let alone earning more, she said. And with expense reimbursement amounts set so low, drivers will continue to subsidize their employers’ business expenses.

This is already precarious work. And this is a workforce that is largely made up of racialized workers and newcomers to our province, said BCFED Treasurer Secretary Hermender Singh Kailley.

We are deeply concerned that low pay and limited rights will entrench the insecurity of this work and the systemic discrimination these workers experience. This is an improvement over their current conditions, but still falls short of the full and equal protection that every worker should receive.

He added that BCFED welcomed measures such as long-delayed coverage under workers’ compensation, but said unions will be watching to see if the final regulations will cover them for injuries sustained outside of employment.

The UN Labor Federation continues to advocate for workers to have full access to bargaining rights and full protection under the Employment Standards Act.

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