BCFED pleased with protection of food delivery workers’ wages and tips

December 22, 2020 | News Release

(Unceded Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories — Vancouver, BC) The BC Federation of Labour is pleased to see that the BC Government’s announcement of temporary service fee caps for food delivery includes protection of workers’ wages and tips. 

“By protecting workers wages and tips, the BCNDP government shows it understands the critical role delivery workers have played during this pandemic,” said Sussanne Skidmore, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour. “And they understand taking care of workers will be a critical part of our economic recovery.”

The service fee cap is intended to support the restaurant sector, which has been hard hit during the pandemic. However, labour advocates expressed concern that delivery companies may try to make up the difference by reducing compensation for workers. This order specifically prohibits companies from reducing compensation for workers and guarantees they will receive all the tips and gratuities they earn.

When the pandemic hit, many restaurants shifted the bulk of their business to take out and delivery. “Food-delivery workers have played a vital role in keeping British Columbians safe and keeping the restaurant industry going,” Skidmore said. “Food and other delivery workers have provided critical service to their communities, and there is more we must do to support them.”

Precarious employment in sectors like the platform or gig economy has been growing over the past decade as employers have increasingly sought to reduce costs by severing their direct employment relationship with workers. Skidmore said, “We are seeing a growing number of companies exploit gaps in employment laws, and workers have been left with little control over their working conditions. That has to change.” 

“This is an important first step for workers in this sector. We look forward to working with the BCNDP government as they take the next steps to develop their precarious work strategy,” said Skidmore.