Tag Archives: employees

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.

Waterloo Axonify, helps companies train / better retain their employees, raises $27 million to date

Axonify is the world’s first Employee Knowledge Platform that uniquely combines brain science, gamification, micro-learning and personalized knowledge to deliver a highly effective learning experience to corporate employees. Through a daily, 3 minute session on any device, Axonify creates memory and changes employee behaviour in positive ways that can drive significant business outcomes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYjrs_w2yNk

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

The company was started in 2011 by Carol Leaman and Christine Tutssel who acquired the IP and one customer from the original founders. Carol is a CPA and a serial tech entrepreneur while Christine is a senior Executive Sales professional. Neither has a tech background other than running and working in tech companies for 20 years. The overall team is now comprised 30% of developers.

How are you being financed?

We’ve raised venture capital and private equity.

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

The biggest obstacle is always creating brand awareness when you are selling to large corporate enterprise. As a small company with fewer dollars to spend on marketing, it’s a challenge to build the business one customer at a time, while balancing cashflow and the need to grow. That challenge never goes away, but it does get easier.

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

We have used our networks to find great developers. We’re fortunate to have a really good reputation in Waterloo Region as an employer, and it’s allowed us to attract amazing talent.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our biggest competition is the “do nothing” customer. We are disrupting old, established processes and technology that our customers have typically invested millions in. They can be reluctant to take the leap to a completely modern approach. We’re still in the early adopter phase, but I sense the tipping point is coming.

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

2017 is a year where we are doubling down on the markets and applications we know work best for us, which are retail, plant and logistics (industry heavy on deskless workers). Our marketing dollars and sales teams will be laser focused on those targets, and leveraging the results from our existing customers to replicate. We expect to see increased velocity of sales and lots of other good things come out of that.

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

This is my fourth technology company and I can say that the hard lessons I learned in previous experiences have helped me avoid most of the same problems this time around! Axonify has been a significantly smoother build, and I can’t say that there have been any huge lessons that jump out at me. But I do keep having to remind myself how long it takes to get customers when you’re selling to Fortune 1000. I guess my biggest lesson at Axonify has been having patience in the face of driving urgency.

 

Website: www.axonify.com