Workers at a Canadian location of one of the largest car-sharing companies in the world voted last Monday on whether to unionize. If the vote is successful, Vancouver will become the site of the first unionized car2go workplace in North America.
Job security is one of the main concerns propelling the union drive. A number of car2go personnel were let go early this year, just weeks before workers from locations across Canada and the United States were flown to a company gathering in Austin, Texas.
Morale was low leading up to the event, according to one worker who spoke to Ricochet and asked not to be named for fear of repercussions. Branded as a “family reunion” and “town hall,” it was touted by company leaders as an opportunity to “bring everyone in the car2go family together and discuss our successes and our future.”
MoveUP (formerly known as COPE 378, a local of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union) seeks to represent the workers. The recently rebranded union already represents workers at Translink, the British Columbia Automobile Association, and car rental companies such as Enterprise and Dollar Thrifty.
“I can now confirm that we have put in an application at the labour board to represent these workers at car2go,” said Jen Holmwood, MoveUP communications officer, by email. “A vote has been held but the ballot box is sealed until various challenges to some ballots are resolved.”
“We’re impressed by the incredible dedication and energy of these workers. We hope very much to be working with them and representing their interests soon.”
Car2go calls itself “an employer like no other” on its website, adding “we put great emphasis on our workplace and company culture.” Following reports the company may be contesting some of the workers’ votes, Ricochet reached out to ask about its position on the union drive. There has not yet been a response.
Owned by the German corporation Daimler, car2go also has hubs in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. Vancouver is home to its largest fleet of vehicles.
This article was updated on Feb. 22, 7:45 p.m. EST, to incorporate the comments from MoveUP.