It is seeking for regulation after a survey showed three out of every four food delivery riders are paid below the minimum wage.
The survey also showed that almost 50% said they or someone they know has been injured doing their job, which provides no sick pay or work cover. Over 70% of riders said they should get entitlements such as sick leave. The survey shows one in four delivery riders work full-time hours while over 26% work more than 40 hours a week.
“This is a damning indictment of the abuse of workers in Australia today. Wealthy companies are engaging in wage theft, ripping workers off, leaving them without compensation when they get injured and not paying their superannuation. These riders are crying out for guaranteed hours, fair rates of pay, rain gear, work cover, sick pay and insurance for their bikes. The Federal Government may think this way of engaging workers is ‘exciting’ but the survey today shows the levels of exploitation which exist in the on-demand economy,” said TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon.
The TWU is today joining delivery riders, the ACTU, Victorian Trades Hall and Unions NSW to formally kick-start a campaign for rights in the on-demand economy. Speakers at the launch include bike couriers, Victoria Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins, Labor Employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon, Prof Joellen Riley of Sydney Law School, and Dr Jim Stanford of the Centre for Future Work. A protest is being held in Melbourne to highlight the issue.
Pay rates for delivery riders fall well below transport award rates, which cover bike couriers. Several bike couriers are on rates and conditions higher than the award, after staff successfully negotiating alongside the TWU with transport companies employing them.
Delivery riders spoke out about safety during survey interviews, “My friend was in an accident with a taxi driver and got a broken bone,” said one UberEats rider. “I get hit nearly once a week,” said a Deliveroo rider. “I’ve had minor injuries - I have been ‘doored’ twice by cars,” said an UberEats rider.
The survey responses involve 160 delivery riders responding online and during face to face interviews conducted in Melbourne and Sydney in recent weeks.
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