Tag Archives: contractors

Foodora’s Couriers To Unionize in Ontario

Part time delivery employees at Foodora, online food delivery company, have decided to unionize. The Ontario Labour Relations Board said today that since Foodora part time employees are dependent contractors they can unionize.

Until today, Foodora employees were considered independent contractors, and had no legal right to unionize and did not have the same benefits as full time permanent employees.

Foodora workers were unhappy how Foodora has treated them due to lack of health and safety protection as well as poor compensation model.

The Board has carefully reviewed the evidence called by the parties using the factors historically considered by the Board from Algonquin Tavern, supra in the interpretation of the statutory definition of dependent contractor. The couriers are selected by Foodora and required to deliver food on the terms and conditions determined by Foodora in accordance with Foodora’s standards. In a very real sense, the couriers work for Foodora, and not themselves.

This is the Board’s first decision with respect to workers in what has been described by the parties and the media as “the gig economy”. However, the services performed by Foodora couriers are nothing new to the Board and in many ways are similar to the circumstances of the Board’s older cases. This is not the Board’s first case examining the relationship of couriers. The Board has been tasked with the same questions about dependent contractors in various sectors including transportation and construction. Such cases have always been fact based inquiries that require a balancing of factors. This case is no different in many respects.

Ontario Labour Relations Board

Foodora said that it is reviewing this decision in Ontario. They said they will see how it plays out when the union is formed and what to do about it after it is formed.

Just last November the Supreme Court of Canada heard the case about Uber and whether it should allow to classify its workers as contractors. Uber has asked the judge to stop the proceedings due to the arbitration clause – the federal judge has allowed it. However Province of Ontario decides to proceed without the arbitrator. Uber is trying to overturn the Ontario’s decision to make sure its workers are not classified as employees.

Montreal SmartReno is changing the way homeowners search for contractors / raises $3m to date

SmartReno is changing the way homeowners search for contractors for their home improvement projects. The service allows people to describe their project in one place, then receive within 24 hours, and completely free of charge, several contractors who are best qualified and available to quote and execute their project. This matching is optimized through a real-time, multi-variable algorithm developed in-house, which identifies the best local contractors for a given project.

Following the acquisition of its main competitor last year, SmartReno expects to receive about 70,000 project requests in 2016, for an aggregate value of $300M. SmartReno maintains an exclusive network of about 5,000 contractors, in which only those who offer superior performance stay.



Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Andrei Uglar is the Founder & CEO, and launched the company in April 2012. Andrei has a finance background, and also launched and operated Weblocal.ca, the online local directory division of TC Media.

How are you being financed?

SmartReno is financed by Anges Quebec Capital as well as 4 prominent angel investors : Pierre Fleurent, Martin-Luc Archambault, Daniel Robichaud, Mike Cegelski. The company raised about $3m to date in 3 different rounds.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

People are more and more getting the habit of using the Internet to find local services. We believe that there is still an education aspect to our service, but are seeing increasing number of people using the internet to find contractors, which typically is a old-school industry.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Word-of-mouth and making sure the company is growing and offers a great culture to attract talented developers that want to be an active part of creating the next big thing.



Who is your biggest competition?

The typical paper and online directories, but SmartReno offers a much better and simpler customer experience, by pre-filtering and making sure we only refer trusted and vetted contractors.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

We are already doing much more than a million in revenues 😉 We have an aggressive plan to grow revenues and consolidate our existing position of leader in Canada in our segment.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Offering a simple and efficient user experience is the key. When people like their experience with the product and the service, they will come back and refer the service to their friends.

Website: www.smartreno.com