Food delivery riders protest against ‘wage theft’ by Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats

Protester with sign at rally for delivery food riders

A food delivery rider has told a Sydney protest his wages have dropped significantly over the two-and-a-half years he has been riding for one of the major delivery companies in Australia.

Wednesday’s protest was held before riders and the Transport Workers Union appeared at the Fair Work Commission’s annual review of award wages.

“When I started two-and-a-half years ago, the standard contract was $14 an hour and $5 dollars a delivery,” rider Matt told reporters. “Those are now looked at as the golden old days. I now know riders that are doing $7 a delivery and zero dollars an hour – these guys are making $14, $7 or zero dollars an hour.”

The TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the major food delivery companies were practising “wage theft” and said he wanted the Fair Work Commission to protect riders.

“We need to make sure we have a system in this country that works for everybody,” Sheldon told reporters. “Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats are really carrying out wage theft.

“They’re stealing from hardworking people, who are delivering to our homes right around our country, by underpaying them.”

A spokeswoman for Foodora told Fairfax Media its riders were engaged as “contractors” as part of the gig economy where flexibility and an autonomous workforce made it “unique, functional and appealing to workers”.

“There are no guarantees in terms of hourly wage, they have the freedom to work when and where they want, as much as they want,” she said. “They have ability to accept and reject delivery orders as they wish. Furthermore, Foodora contractors are not precluded from engaging with other operators simultaneously.”

Source: The Guardian

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