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Toronto ride-share, food delivery drivers strike, calling for more fair


Dozens of ride-share and food delivery drivers in Toronto staged a strike Wednesday, calling for more fair pay and better treatment after a recent report found that what some drivers make falls well below Ontario’s minimum wage.

In a joint report published Monday, Ridefair Toronto and the Rideshare Drivers Association of Ontario (RDAO) said some drivers are making far less Uber’s claim of $33.35 per engaged hour, which refers only to time when a rider is in a car, according to late 2023 figures. Some drivers and advocates say Uber and Lyft present massively misleading data about driver pay.

The report claims some drivers on ride-hailing apps such as Uber or Lyft, make from $6.37 to $10.60 US per hour after estimated operating expenses and not including tips, based on data collected from the paystubs. The research examined 96 examples of weekly paystubs from Toronto drivers — a small fraction of the more than 50,000 drivers licensed operators in the city — saying all of them failed to meet the province’s minimum wage standards. 

“Our findings for Toronto align with recent estimates of driver hourly earnings in California (US$6.20/hr), Seattle (US$9.63/hr) and Denver (US$5.49/hr), as well as reports from Toronto ride-hail drivers,” said JJ Fueser, co-author of the report and researcher with Ridefair Toronto, an advocacy group that calls for fair regulation of the ride-hailing industry,

“After expenses, none of the 96 weekly paystubs provided to us by the Rideshare Drivers Association of Ontario reached Ontario’s minimum wage standards; in many cases, drivers lost money,” Fueser added.

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Earla Phillips is the vice president of the Ride Share Drivers Association, and a longtime driver for Uber and Lyft.

Uber denies the earnings reported, saying the methodology is problematic.

“Cherrypicking 96 weekly earnings statements from tens of millions of trips is shoddy methodology,” said Keerthana Rang, a spokesperson for Uber Canada, in an email to CBC News. 

“In November, median earnings were $33.35 for engaged time in the city of Toronto.”

CBC News has reached out to Lyft for comment.

Proposed minimum wage standard ‘changes nothing’: advocates

The report also looked at Uber’s policy proposal for Ontario’s provincial government – a separate minimum wage standard for gig workers set at 120 per cent. 

Ridefair Toronto says the report “exposes Uber’s poverty pay in Toronto,” adding that the proposed policy for Ontario is a “poverty trap” rather than a gig work solution.

The ride-share company proposed to pay 120 per cent of Ontario’s $16.55 minimum wage for engaged time, or about $19.86 per engaged hour. 

The report says taking typical engagement rates at about 60 per cent and costs for Toronto drivers into account, Uber’s proposal would translate into an average hourly minimum wage of…



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