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Hundreds of Uber drivers join union to demand better working conditions

Last Updated Jun 26, 2019 at 3:09 pm EDT

An Uber driver sits in his car parked near the San Francisco International Airport parking area in San Francisco, in a July 15, 2015 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeff Chiu

Hundreds of Uber drivers in Toronto have joined a union in the hopes of improving their working conditions with the ride sharing company.

The drivers say their employer is turning a deaf ear to their health and safety concerns and they’ve joined the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union to get the company to address them.

However, there are reportedly tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the city and in comparison, those that have joined the union represent a fairly small number. But UFCW regional director Pablo Godoy says they have the numbers.

“We have a resounding amount of support from the drivers we’ve spoken to. We feel like that should be sufficient to get an employer to listen,” he told 680 NEWS.

Despite the numbers, the Uber drivers that have joined are not certified as union members just yet, which means Uber is not obligated to come to the table or even listen to their complaints.

Godoy says those who have signed up are still a part of the collective and UFCW is prepared to represent them, knowing it will be a lengthy process.

“We’re here for the long haul. We’re really here to support workers, as long as it takes, to ensure that their rights are protected so that the framework is created that allows them to access their basic labour rights,” he said.

Uber declined to comment on the matter.