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REFORMS ON FUTURE OF WORK NEEDED URGENTLY AS THOUSANDS OF ON-DEMAND WORKERS RIPPED OFF


TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 20 September 2018
 
The Transport Workers’ Union is calling for reforms to be urgently implemented to address the thousands of on-demand workers being ripped off on a daily basis.

The call follows a report by the Senate Committee on the Future of Work which recommends that on-demand workers must be given rights, such as superannuation and collective bargaining.
 
“Every day thousands of delivery riders, ride-share drivers and other workers in the on-demand economy are being ripped off. Companies are stealing their wages, their super and they are being unfairly sacked by getting kicked off the app - without any warning or chance to challenge their dismissal. This report makes clear that this is no longer acceptable. The Federal Government does not appear interested in delivering on this, so the question is how long will these workers have to wait until they can claim the rights they deserve?” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
 
Kaine said reforms must be flexible enough to ensure companies don’t just alter their models when the law changes to give more on-demand workers rights.
 
“Tech giants are knowingly denying rights to their workers right now - that is precisely what their business model is based on. Our system must allow workers to claim rights no matter what type of work they perform or how they perform it. This system must be future-proofed against attempts to shift the goal posts and to allow workers to continue being ripped off,” Kaine added.
 
Hundreds of riders in Sydney and Melbourne have held protests this year demanding rights. The TWU is taking the first test case involving the unfair dismissal of a delivery rider. The next hearing dates are 11-12 October.
 
A survey of delivery riders found:
 
  • Three out of four riders are paid below minimum rates.
  • Almost 50% of riders had either been injured on the job or knew someone who had.
  • Over 70% of riders said they should get entitlements such as sick leave.
  • 1 in 4 riders (26%) work full time hours (40+ hours per week).
  • 3 in 4 (76%) riders work 20 or more hours per week.
  • Over 26% work more than 40 hours a week.
  • The average age is just under 26 years.

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