Kelowna’s only current ride-sharing company is now offering full-time positions for drivers, after ride-sharing giant Uber was recently criticized for not recognizing its drivers as employees.
After beginning service in Kelowna in early July, Victoria-based Lucky to Go announced Thursday it will now be hiring its drivers as full-time and casual employees.
“From the beginning, this was supposed to be an independent contractor-based business, but what we’re seeing is that a lot of places were having a lot of difficulty hiring drivers,” Lucky to Go CEO Mandeep Rana said.
“We said why not offer the full-time position and make sure they stay with us and we can grow the money and keep it in the community.”
Earlier this week, the president of UFCW Local 1518 in New Westminster urged Uber to recognize its drivers as employees, and ride-sharing drivers in Ontario and California have recently won their own battles in court.
Uber announced last week that it will be applying for a licence to operate in Kelowna, and it expects to have drivers on the road by Christmas season.
Rana says he hopes customers will support his B.C.-based company when Uber rolls into town.
“There’s going to be competition in the market, but we’re a local company and we would like the community to support a local business,” he said.
“We’re not leaving our drivers behind. We want them to be treated well. Giving them some sort of job security is what they’re looking for and what we’re looking forward to.”
Rana says there are about a dozen Lucky to Go drivers on Kelowna roads most days, which has been enough to meet the demand so far.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for Lucky to Go, Rana says they’re still “growing our numbers every day.”
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