Toronto delays action on new rideshare, taxi rules as hundreds of Uber drivers join union

By Francine Kopun City Hall Bureau

Mon., June 24, 2019


More information on driver training and other issues is needed before a decision can be made on how to change the rules around how Uber, Lyft and cab companies operate, a city committee decided Monday.

After an afternoon of deputations that were critical of many of the proposed amendments, the city’s general government and licensing committee voted to ask city staff to come up with more details on how proposed training for drivers could work; the impact of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft on congestion; and what opportunities exist to ensure higher vehicle fuel-efficiency standards in the industry.

“Uber and Lyft are probably never going to go away — I don’t see that happening,” said Councillor Paul Ainslie, who tabled one of the motions requesting more information, adding that more work needs to be done to balance the competing interests of cab companies and the ride-hailing industry.

The decision was made on the same day that the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW Canada) announced that hundreds of Uber drivers in Toronto have joined the union — a Canadian first, according to Pablo Godoy, the national co-ordinator of gig and platform employer initiatives for the union.

“Ride-sharing platforms are able to circumvent labour law under the guise of claiming to be a tech company rather than an employer,” said Godoy, promising more details later in the week.

Godoy said the members include more than 300 luxury UberBlack drivers that currently service the airport.

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