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Foodora Is Ditching Canada Two Months After Workers Win Right to Unionize

The company announced plans to leave in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic when demand for food delivery is reportedly increasing.
April 27, 2020, 8:12pm
Food delivery service Foodora announces plan to leave Canada
Photo by Nathan Denette via The Canadian Press

After five years in Canada, food delivery company Foodora is pulling out of the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes two months after its workers won the right to unionize.

According to a press release Monday, issued by its Berlin-based parent company Delivery Hero, Canada is a highly saturated market for online food delivery and has lately seen “intensified competition.”

Foodora "has been unable to reach a level of profitability in Canada that’s sustainable enough to continue operations," the press release said.

Foodora’s Canadian rivals include UberEats, DoorDash, and Skip The Dishes.

The timing of the announcement raises questions because there’s been a reported increase in demand for food delivery services, which are considered an essential service during the pandemic. And in late February, Foodora couriers won the right to unionize in Ontario—the first time that app-based workers in Canada were recognized as “dependent contractors,” meaning they are able to form a union that can negotiate better pay and working conditions for workers.

Foodsters United, the union representing workers, said in a statement that it is “saddened and greatly disappointed” in Foodora and Delivery Hero for their “poorly thought-out decision.”

Foodsters said restaurants and couriers will only have two weeks to find alternate ways to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This demonstrates a complete disregard for the wellbeing of us workers in an already extreme and uncertain time,” the statement said.

Foodora services are available in 10 cities across Canada. The company plans to stop operating in Canada on May 11.

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