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NSW LABOR LEADER MICHAEL DALEY PLEDGES TO REGULATE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY AS DEATHS OF UBER EATS RIDERS HIGHLIGHT SAFETY RISKS


TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 15 February 2019
 
The Transport Workers’ Union has welcomed the announcement by ALP NSW leader Michael Daley of plans to regulate the on-demand economy to deliver workers’ rights and improve safety.



The ALP leader pledged to give rights to rideshare drivers and food delivery riders, such as minimum rates and the right to take complaints against employers through the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

 
Michael Daley made the announcement in Redfern today along with food delivery riders and the TWU. The move comes as two UberEats riders were killed in Kingsgrove last month.
 
“Food delivery riders and rideshare drivers are being killed, bashed and abused. They face sexual assaults, physical assaults and their companies are offering little or no support or compensation. They are having their pay checks robbed by being forced to work for low rates, and in some cases put on shifts without guarantees to any wages at all. This is eighteenth century exploitation, by twenty-first century technology. I am pleased that the NSW Labor Party is stepping up to and taking a stand against this exploitation and abuse,” said Tony Sheldon, Transport Workers Union's co-ordinator on the on-demand economy.
 
NSW legislation, contained in Chapter 6 of the Industrial Relations Act, currently ensures independent contractor truck drivers have the right to minimum rates, conditions and access to the independent Industrial Relation Commission to resolve disputes, such as unfair dismissals.
 
“Transport workers deserve rights. They deserve to be paid a minimum rate and they deserve the right to challenge an unfair sacking. Wealthy companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and others are openly flouting the law by denying their workforce these rights. Including on-demand transport workers in NSW legislation will make it harder for them to continue doing this,” he said.
 
On-demand companies have drastically reduced rates and conditions.
 
Food delivery companies have scrapped hourly rates, decreased delivery rates, increased distances for deliveries (thereby reducing pay since they are paid per delivery), and terminated workers without warning or the chance to appeal.
 
Companies insist on workers working shifts, with little flexibility to get out of them even during dangerous weather conditions.
 
A survey showed three out of four riders are paid below minimum rates with 50% reporting they had been injured on the job or know someone who had been injured on the job.
 
Food delivery riders have held several protests in Sydney over pay and conditions.
 
A survey of rideshare drivers shows the average hourly rate is $16 that’s before fuel, insurance and other costs are deducted.
 
Ridershare drivers have faced deaths threats towards them and their families, rape threats, sexual assault, being punched in the face, held at knifepoint, had their car windows broken, their cars stolen and have received racial abuse.
 
They have been immediately deactivated from the ride-share apps: such as when passengers leave wallets in their cars or when passengers make entirely false reports.
 
Almost two-thirds of drivers have had false reports by passengers.

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