Food courier Alexander Kurth discusses how Foodora workers in Toronto organized a union
Introduction to the gig economy
By Jordan House and Paul Christopher Gray
The “gig economy” and the spread of app-based work have become prominent topics of conversation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Foodora, an app-based food delivery company, has become particularly notorious in Canada for its response to labour organizing by Toronto-based food couriers.
The Foodsters United (now renamed Gig Workers United) campaign arose to challenge low pay and precarious working conditions, health and safety concerns, and their legal classification as independent contractors, which denies workers the rights and protections achieved by most employees.
Labour organizing is particularly difficult in the gig economy. The decentralized workplace can be an entire city, which makes it hard to know, let alone communicate with, the vast majority of your-co-workers. Furthermore, these apps often allow employers to surveil workers as if they were in a centralized worksite.
The Foodsters United campaign, with the backing of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), overcame these obstacles with numerous creative organizing strategies. Foodsters United was successful not only in challenging their legal misclassification as independent contractors, but also in their union drive, achieving 90% support in the certification vote. However, these victories proved bittersweet when Foodora announced its withdrawal from Canada in April, 2020.
This is just one of a few major setbacks for gig workers recently. Landmark legislation in California, which classified app-based workers as employees, was overturned on November 4th, 2020, because of a ballot measure called Proposition 22. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash paid over $200 million for a ‘Yes on Prop 22’ campaign, outspending opposition groups 10 to 1. Nevertheless, just as California’s gig workers have vowed to continue the struggle, Foodsters United in Toronto created relationships and organizing structures that continue today among food couriers.
In this interview, we discuss Foodsters United with Alexander Kurth, a bike courier and union organizer. In May 2018, he and a small group of Foodora co-workers began holding weekly meetings at Christie Pits Park to discuss the labour organizing that would soon become this inspiring campaign.
Jordan House and Paul Gray would like to thank the students in our Brock University classes, ‘Workplace Rights and Equity’ and ‘The Future of Work,’ who helped us develop the questions for this interview. We would also like to thank Austin Gooder for his assistance with transcription.
Interview with Alexander Kurth
Jordan House: Could you start by talking about how you became a courier and how you felt about working for Foodora when you first started out?
Alexander Kurth: I moved to Toronto in September 2015 and first got jobs in restaurant kitchens. I found out about this company called Hurrier, which is what Foodora was called at the time, that was doing third-party delivery for restaurants. Their logo was a cyclist and I’ve been a cyclist for most of my life. I really enjoyed cycling and I thought the idea of being a bike courier might be a lot of fun. So, I decided to give it a try. I filled out their application form and they got back to me pretty quickly–they just asked me a handful of questions, and then they said, “Okay, sounds good, come down for orientation.” The orientation was half-an-hour and I basically just downloaded the app and got started.
I love riding my bike and it was a great way to get to know the city as somebody who was new here. I could make my own schedule, just ride my bike, and make money doing it. I remember the day that I quit my other jobs. It was the worst day that I had as a courier. It was slushy out. It was that wet snow that sticks to your clothing and bike and it seeped into my socks and my feet were freezing cold, and I thought, “This sucks so bad but it’s still better than working in the kitchen.” I phoned my managers at the kitchens, gave them my two week’s notice, and became a bike courier full time.
Paul Christopher Gray: When did you realize that things needed to improve at Foodora? Was there a breaking point that made you an activist?
AK: Yeah, at first it was really great and then, slowly, over time, the company took little things away from us. And every time they did, we talked about what we would do. And it felt, for a good long while, that there wasn’t anything we could do. But people would get angry every time that they took something away from us, and eventually it reached a head.
The first thing that I remember them taking away was guaranteed hours. Before that everything was scheduled in one-hour blocks and you could just choose your one-hour blocks from what was available. And if you worked that block one week then you were guaranteed it the next week. They took that away from us because they said they needed greater flexibility for scheduling in order to meet the demand, and there was an uproar around that. And then they got rid of it being one-hour blocks and instead started putting together these three-to-five-hour blocks that would overlap, so it became much more difficult to get a solid schedule together. If you wanted to work nine to five, it would be really difficult to find something in the two to five area that didn’t overlap with an earlier or later shift, and a lot of people got upset and angry about that.
Every time they made these kinds of changes, we’d say, what can we do to protect ourselves as workers? What can we do to fight back against the company just unilaterally making these decisions? And inevitably the ‘U’ word would come up. Somebody would say we need some kind of workers’ union, but usually that kind of conversation would get shut down pretty quickly because someone would say, “But we’re independent contractors,” which is how the company had classified us, and independent contractors legally can’t unionize. That’s generally where the conversation would end. But we did have some meetings and set up some online chat groups of disgruntled Hurrier and Foodora workers. Eventually it reached a breaking point where we said, we have to do something.
There was one person–his name was Matt. I saw him on a Facebook group for Foodora workers in Toronto, and he kept making comments like, “Well, until we unionize, they’re going to keep screwing us like this.” Eventually, I contacted him. I thought I would be filling him in on the history of the disgruntled worker meetings but instead it was him saying, “I was a union organizer for nine years. If you want to unionize Foodora, we can do this,” and he was very confident that we would win a challenge to our employee status. It was just a matter of organizing the workforce and getting the union cards signed and then taking that to the Labour Board. That was really the spark that started the union campaign.
We reached out to a handful of workers that we thought would also be interested–some people from previous disgruntled worker meetings and others who we knew shared our political views, and had our first meeting at Christie Pits Park here in Toronto. We pitched the idea and everybody was into it. We started having weekly meetings every Monday night at the park and tried to bring in new members every week.
JH: I can only imagine how hard it is to even know who your co-workers are as a courier and because of how Foodora is structured. Could you talk a bit about how you managed to find co-workers so you could talk to them?
AK: That was absolutely the number one most difficult part of this campaign–finding our co-workers or even knowing who they were. We spent over a year organizing in secret trying not to tip off Foodora that we were even having these conversations at all. We had to try to find our co-workers, strike up conversations with them, try to gauge whether they would be interested in the idea of a union, and figure out when to actually mention the ‘U’ word. Going public with the campaign gave us a real boost because we could talk openly about it and we could talk to people that we approached before and say, “Hey, so the cat’s out of the bag, we’re unionizing.”
Trying to identify cyclists was easier because we had these bright pink backpacks and anybody who was riding a bike around in the city, carrying what looked like a food delivery backpack, you could strike up a conversation with. Trying to find drivers was so much more difficult. There’s no way of knowing, out of the sea of cars in the city, which one is delivering food.
We were constantly coming up with new ideas of how to find people. We hosted workshops, we had somebody come in and do a presentation on how to do your taxes as an independent contractor. We did car and bike maintenance workshops, how to winterize your bike or your vehicle, or what kind of clothing to wear when working through the winter–anything that we could think of that might draw people out who had not previously been contacted by us. We tried to come up with as many car-specific workshops as we could, such as how to fight parking tickets, which is a huge issue for drivers in Toronto.
We tried to identify parking lots and service stations and car washes where couriers might hang out, and we definitely knew that there were social groups that had already established themselves as co-workers. For example, we knew that there was a group of Chinese-speaking car couriers working in the northern zones who had a chat going with each other. We tried to recruit people in there to try to talk with their co-workers who they already had a bond with. We put out radio ads and features on ethnic radio stations because we knew that new Canadians made up a large part of the workforce. We tried to reach out to language groups, religious groups, immigrant support networks, things like that.
We started a campaign of postering and stickering around town, trying to place them as strategically as possible so as to catch the eyes of couriers either in cars or on bikes, such as placing them on bike locking posts and around popular service stations and car washes. This also became a huge part of the “Vote Yes” campaign once we applied for certification.
We also did “order-in” days, which was something that CUPW [Canadian Union of Postal Workers] organized with other unions and social advocacy groups. The idea was to get a supportive workplace to order-in through Foodora and use that as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with the delivery person. We also tried to get individuals–anybody who wanted to support us–to do the same. It was a multi-faceted approach, and it paid off in the end, but it was really slow going. It took a really long time, with us constantly trying to come up with new ideas.
I can say this to anyone trying to unionize a decentralized workplace–if there’s any way that you can get an employee list, do everything you can to get it because it’s so difficult doing it without. It’s not impossible, but if there’s any way you can get someone on the inside to get you an employee list, it will save you so much trouble.
Once we were fairly certain we had a critical mass of names and contact information, we started what was probably the single biggest undertaking of the campaign–the phone blitz. We set aside two weeks straight to do nothing but call workers and arrange for them to sign a union card. CUPW booked off postal workers who spoke some of the key languages we had identified –such as Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, and Spanish–so that we could speak to the workers in the language they were most comfortable in. As soon as someone agreed to sign a card we would dispatch a runner to meet them wherever they were in the city. Obviously this took a massive amount of people and a huge degree of organization and coordination to pull off, and it required a lot of working out of kinks and mistakes in methodology on the fly. But this was probably the single biggest turning point in the campaign.
PCG: So, you approach couriers at particular restaurants and you host these various workshops and you have to raise the idea of unionizing with them. What was your pitch, or how did you have the organizing conversation where you introduce the idea of unionizing?
AK: Asking a lot of questions is a big part of the strategy. I know that this is a real common strategy that we learned from CUPW and other union organizers–ask a lot of questions and try and get them to just say it [“union”] before you do. You start off basically, “Hey, I’m Alex, are you working Foodora?” Then, “How long have you been doing this? How do you feel about it?” And you try to bring up things that were thorns in the side of every courier. “How do you feel about this recent change?” or “How do you feel about how it is these days compared to how it used to be?” Things like that.
Honestly, it wasn’t difficult to get people complaining about this job. There were just so many issues that you could bring up, and maybe you’d have to try two or three, but you’d get one where they would say, “Yeah, that’s bullshit.” And then you just continue that conversation. You try to talk about what they would like to see change about the job — not just complaining about what they don’t like, but how they would like it to be different, and how they thought we could get the company to make these changes.
And people would suggest things like a petition or maybe a protest or things like that. Then we would have to drive home the point that these are good ideas, but the only way that we can be protected as workers and do these things without facing repercussions is if we have the legal protection of being a union. And furthermore, the only way that we can guarantee that these changes will stay is to have a legally binding contract, and the only way that we can do that is to have legal bargaining power, which we can only get through a union. Basically, we’d try to ask a lot of questions and have a conversation that leads to the conclusion that the only way that we can really guarantee better working conditions and see the things that we all deserve is by unionizing.
JH: I think this flows really nicely into our next question–what were some of the central demands of the drive?
AK: We had a couple of meetings focused on defining our demands, and those were quite popular. We tried to hype those up as a way to keep the base engaged–you get to come here and say what you’d most like to see change. A lot of really good ideas came out of that. And the more diverse representation of workers we could get, the more issues would come up that some of us would never have thought of before.
For example, there was a small minority of female workers–it was a really overwhelmingly male workforce. And women were saying, “I need protection from harassment from customers.” We had no way of contacting customers except by using our personal phone numbers. Trying to get the company to have some kind of relay or phone masking system to allow us to contact customers without giving them our personal numbers was something that would never have occurred to me, but once that came up it became a really big issue that we got a lot of traction around.
We would have these meetings and there would be a hundred different ideas all up on little sticky notes up on the wall, and after a while we realized that we could group these into three categories: compensation or pay-based issues, health and safety-based issues, and thirdly, respect.
One of the biggest things that bugged me was that we would only be paid per delivery at a flat rate, plus kilometers between the restaurants and the customer, plus a tip if you were lucky. What we didn’t get paid for was any time that we spent waiting for an order to appear in our app. We didn’t get paid for the distance or time that we traveled from wherever we were to the restaurant, and we’d sometimes get sent clear across the city for a pick-up. We also didn’t get paid for the time that we spent waiting at the restaurant.
Foodora tried to set up their timing so that the courier would be at the restaurant before the food was ready so the food was not sitting around at the restaurant for any amount of time. What that often meant was you arrive at the restaurant way before that order is due, and you wouldn’t get paid for any of that wait time. You only got paid five dollars compensation when your wait time was more than 20 minutes after it was due , and then only if you were keeping track of that wait time and specifically asked for it. It wasn’t automatic and there was no prorating. It was 20 minutes, five bucks, all-or-nothing. If you were waiting 18 or 19 minutes, you didn’t get that compensation.
More and more, all these factors that we had no control over were determining what kind of hourly wage we were making and it didn’t matter how good or fast we were. It was all really up to chance of what kind of orders we were getting, and the orders were getting worse and worse. You didn’t know how much you would make at the end of the day or at the end of the week. You didn’t know if you’d be able to pay your rent, so that was a real issue. Those were all big issues that we had a lot of different ideas about how to change, different demands of how to make that more fair, to compensate us for our time that we were waiting, and for the time and distance that we were taking to get to the restaurant. Some kind of guaranteed minimum wage, things like that.
Health and safety was also a big issue, especially for the bike couriers. It’s a dirty, dangerous job. Injuries happen all the time and we had no real guarantees there. Foodora was one of the few companies that actually paid into workplace insurance [WSIB], so if we did get injured on the job, we were able to apply for that. Some of my co-workers did get injured and had to go through workplace insurance, but the amounts that they got paid were awful and it led to a lot of people going back to work before they were healed, risking reinjuring themselves. A more robust health and safety program and health insurance were big demands.
Finally, there’s the issue of respect. We felt, more and more, we were being treated like numbers on a screen rather than human beings. Being recognized as employees rather than independent contractors was important for this because it was insulting to be told that we were our own bosses when, in reality, everything that we did was super tightly controlled by the company. They tell us what to do. They tell us how to do it. They tell us where to be at what time.
They kept touting “flexibility” and that was their excuse for calling us independent contractors, but that flexibility was an illusion. We got to choose our hours, but there really wasn’t that much choice. You could only work the hours that they made available and you had to scramble to grab some from your co-workers in this mad dash. Really, the difference between you telling your employer your availability and them scheduling you accordingly, and the company telling you what hours are available, and you picking from those shifts, is practically no difference at all. In all the part-time jobs that I’ve had in the past where I told my employer my availability and they made the schedule, I had more guaranteed hours and the same amount of flexibility as at Foodora.
There weren’t really upsides, but there were all of the downsides of not having the legal protections of an employee, not having your employer pay into EI and retirement savings plans, and all the other things that employers are required to do in Ontario. It was both materially worse for us and really insulting for them to tell us that we were self-employed and Foodora was just acting as essentially a talent agency. The reality was, Foodora was a delivery company and we were delivery workers.
JH: Were any of your co-workers opposed to unionization? What were some of the reasons that they gave and how did you respond? Also, how did management respond once they found out about the union drive?
AK: I found from day one that approximately 90% of the people we talked to–once we got to the point of saying out loud that we wanted to form a union–were like, “Fuck yeah, give me this union card and let me sign up.” About 10% were hesitant or opposed to it, so that was already an excellent ratio and that ended up bearing out all the way through to the unionization vote. 90% of workers voted in favour.
But there was that 10%, and there were a number of different hesitations. Some people thought it was impossible–so why bother? Some people were afraid that the company would shut down or leave. Some people were afraid that losing independent contractor status would take away the things that they liked the best about the job. They were afraid that union dues would end up costing more than they would get in pay raises. They were afraid that the union would start dictating demands. They were afraid that, because of the union, Foodora would come in with greater demands on us in terms of how to do the job.
We responded by saying, “Right now we have no power in this relationship. Foodora holds all of the power. They get to decide what this job is, how we do it, and they can change it at any time. So all of the fears that you are telling us right now are things that could happen at any time if Foodora decides to do it, and the only way that we can protect ourselves against that is by having the legal protection of a union.”
It wasn’t always effective. A small minority were really vocal in their opposition and took every opportunity to make their opposition heard, but we just kept pushing our points and it paid off because we got the 40% of workers to sign union cards we needed to apply for certification, and we got 90% of workers voting in favor of union certification.
As for how management responded, we expected that, once we went public, there would be a massive anti-union campaign from the company, and we were actually surprised when that didn’t happen. Mostly what we got was silence. The day we went public, Foodora responded with basically a one paragraph press release, but other than that, nothing else.
I think that Foodora didn’t believe that we were actually a threat–they basically thought there was no way we were going to be able to pull this off and there was no reason to launch an anti-union campaign. It wasn’t until we filed for certification and the vote was scheduled that they launched their anti-union campaign, but by that point we had had a year-and-a-half of inoculating the workers to this inevitable anti-union campaign. It really came off as desperate on Foodoras’ part. We got bombarded with messages from the company in that week-and-a-half telling us to vote ‘no.’ We got messages through the app. We got messages through email. They linked us to this hastily thrown together website trying to convince people to vote ‘no.’ But it was really too little, too late at that point.
PCG: For months, the Foodsters campaign was very energetic. However, once things got to the Labour Board and the question of employment status had to be determined, things slowed down. What was that process like for you in the other workers?
AK: The campaign shifted from being something that, up until that point, had really been all about the workers organizing, finding other workers, and having those conversations. At the Labour Board it shifted to being about lawyers arguing with each other and that took a really long time. We did really try to keep the momentum going, though. We tried to get turnout to all of the hearings and they actually had to switch rooms for us at the Labour Board hearings because of how many people turned up to sit in the audience. Reporters were there and we held rallies outside of the Labour Board building and things like that.
A big part of the organizing that we had been doing from day one was not just about trying to get this legal certification. It was very much about organizing workers in order to pressure the company to change some of these things and also to support each other in ways that the company was failing us. That continued in the same way.
JH: We could probably do a whole interview about the impact of COVID-19. Could you speak to some of the issues that arose and some of the ways that you responded?
AK: There was a certain slowing down of activity once it moved into the certification phase, but once COVID started, that really kicked everything back into high gear because now it was a matter of health and safety in a really big way.
We approached it from two tacks: pressuring the company to provide some things and also providing some of these things ourselves when the company was failing us. We did surveys of the workers. We asked what do you need the most? What are your greatest fears? Personal protective equipment was really a big demand. This was when there was still a big question about how effective masks were, but a lot of workers, especially drivers, said they needed masks because they couldn’t find masks in stores. The company wasn’t providing them, so we sent demand letters to Foodora saying you need to be providing your workers with masks, but got silence from them. Instead, we organized our own craft mask making. People who had sewing machines would make fabric masks and then we would distribute them to any workers who asked for them.
In certain ways the pandemic was good for business because, all of a sudden, there was much higher demand. Suddenly, we were “essential” workers and so many people were getting food delivered that wouldn’t have otherwise. We were much busier, which meant the app companies had to pay higher rates to attract more workers, and people were tipping generously. The money was better for the first little while, but it came at such a big risk because there was so little knowledge about how the virus was transmitted, if masks were effective, if surfaces were vectors. All of these things were a little frightening. We also were trying to get Foodora to install and mandate some kind of no-contact delivery option and they were not really moving on that at all. They were really going very ‘business as usual’ and we really felt like it was up to us to try and protect the workers.
PCG: When did you hear that Foodora had decided to pull out of Canada and what was the reaction amongst workers?
AK: I was actually finishing up a morning shift. It was around 2:00 PM and we got this email. I remember I was doing this one last delivery and happened to glance at my phone because I needed to know the drop off address and there was an email from Foodora with a little preview of the email saying, “Foodora leaving Canada,” or something like that. It was a moment of your guts just dropping and this sickening dread. It was a really dark day.
The second that we received that email we called an emergency meeting. I got home as fast as I could. There was a lot of fear, a lot of blame. There was definitely everybody who had said, “If we unionize, Foodora is gonna pull out of the country,” saying, “I told you so, you should never have done this.” For me, it wasn’t even about what it meant for me personally. For me, the biggest question and the biggest fear was what happens to all the people who have lost their jobs now and don’t have any other options?
Foodora, unlike other delivery companies, didn’t bar people who had a criminal record. And not just a violent criminal record–it could have been that you got caught selling a gram of weed and that barred you from working for any of the other companies. There were quite a few immigrants who didn’t have legal working status, and who had really constrained options, working for Foodora. With Foodora leaving the country, I was really worried about those people, especially in the middle of a pandemic. CERB [Canada Emergency Response Benefit – $2,000/month supports for unemployed workers] had not been announced yet, and even once it was, it didn’t apply to everybody. Quite a few people who I knew just switched to working for Uber or DoorDash, so those people would be okay. But I knew that there were people who weren’t going to be okay.
It is really disheartening that the campaign that we had worked so hard on…it’s not that it was completely done, but this one central goal that the entire thing had been predicated around, just collapsed. After all the legal arguments we did end up getting certified, but it was after Foodora had left the country, so that was really a bittersweet victory. Obviously, it would have been really great to be working for the first legally unionized gig economy company in Canada. And the fact that we weren’t able to do that was really disheartening.
PCG: Despite Foodora leaving Canada, what are the most tangible and lasting victories that have come out of this campaign?
AK: The first lasting win is the Labour Board ruling, the wording of which sets an important legal precedent, leaves the door wide open for future gig economy union campaigns, and answers quite definitively the question of whether or not gig workers are independent contractors under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
The second win was a cash settlement that was reached between CUPW and Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero. Under the Employment Standards Act, a company of Foodora’s size is required to give its workers 6 weeks’ notice of layoff, or else pay their workers for those weeks in lieu of notice. Since they only gave workers 2 weeks’ notice, CUPW was preparing to take them to court to argue they owed each worker 4 weeks’ pay. Delivery Hero ended up settling out of court for a total of $3.46 million, all of which went directly to laid-off Foodora workers, up to $6800 each.
Lastly, a lot of the things that we created that weren’t directly related to getting legally certified, those structures that we built, are still there, and we’re still using them to organize and advocate for and support gig economy workers. We’ve rebranded from Foodsters United to Gig Workers United and expanded our scope to encompass all gig economy workers in Toronto and Canada as a whole, regardless of which company they work for.
PCG: What worked in the campaign and what could you have done better?
AK: There were two things that were really huge in helping this be a success. One was a stewarding system. As a steward, you get a list of co-workers assigned to you and you call and check in with them once a week or once every two weeks and find out how work is treating them. You ask, “What are some challenges that you’re facing? How can we help? What’s something that you’d like to see change?” and keep that contact. That’s been really huge for us and it’s been a great way to know what the central issues and demands are on an ongoing basis, because those things change over time. It also helps keep people engaged with the union and lets them know that we have their back.
The other thing that was really huge for us was committees, especially for certain special interest groups within our co-workers. We had a drivers’ committee that was really big because, at first, the conversations were really dominated by bike couriers. We were the most visible workers and the ones who knew each other the most, and so, at first, the drivers were a little bit of an afterthought. Creating a specific drivers’ committee got us a lot of gains and really allowed us to know a lot more about the specific issues and demands that drivers had. Another one I mentioned earlier is that women are a small minority in this workforce, but have specific and unique issues related to this work. A women, trans, and femme committee was created consisting entirely of women, trans, and femme-identifying workers to talk about some of the specific issues that were facing them. Getting those specific committees to deal with subsections of the workforce and speak to their unique issues was a big way of making sure that they didn’t get left behind and their issues and voices were heard.
I would say one of the biggest pitfalls that we fell into was not assuming the best of each other. A lot of arguments got way more heated than they should have been. We lost some people who were really great and had really specific talents over some arguments that were really unnecessary and served to tear us apart rather than unite us. We have to keep remembering that we’re all on the same team–we’re all comrades working towards the same thing.
JH: What could the labour movement and the broader public do to support the Gig Workers United campaign and other gig economy workers?
AK: Before this campaign a lot of people thought that the gig economy was impossible to unionize, and we really showed that it is possible. It’s really important that the labour movement as a whole keeps this conversation about the gig economy in the forefront, because the longer that we let companies get away with this stuff, the more of it is going to creep into other forms of work. We’ve already seen a huge decline in unionized labour in this country. This decline has meant a loss of not just the strengths and protections that a union gives workers, but even basic legal protections.
The gig economy is just another part of this. It’s not just about apps and technology. The app doesn’t fundamentally change the nature of the work, but they pretend that it does, and this allows them to call us independent contractors and erase our rights. It’s starting with these app-based companies, but it’s not going to stop there. We’ve been seeing, more and more, all kinds of workplaces moving away from full-time unionized jobs to one-year or six-month contracts. The more that bosses can call their workers ‘independent contractors’ and not be challenged, the more they’re going to do that. The gig economy is going to slowly take over all work if we don’t fight it. The sooner that we can start attacking this at its root, the more that it’s going to protect all work in this country and in this province.
PCG: We really appreciate you answering these questions and providing a lot of fascinating insight. The final question we have for you is, what kind of impact has being involved in union organizing had on you personally and what do you hope for the future of Foodsters United?
AK: Other than specifics, like teaching me organizing skills and feeling like I was making an actual material difference in the lives of my co-workers and my fellow human beings in the city and in this province, it really made me believe that these kinds of things are possible. As long as you believe that something is possible–and this is maybe getting a bit corny–but if you don’t believe that something is possible, that’s the biggest obstacle to making it happen.
I remember a union meeting that we had. There was a worker and he asked, “Do you really think that we can do this?” The response to that is, “Yeah, as long as we do it.”
You can make this happen if you make it happen. You just have to put in the work and you have to keep faith.
All of us as individuals have very little power, but you have to believe that all of us together as an organized whole have all the power in the world, and so that is the key to making change and making a better world.