May 5, 2019

Fighting for rights in the gig economy

Transport workers in the gig economy are deprived of basic workplace rights like minimum wage, sick leave, unfair dismissal protections and workers’ compensation. Since 2018, workers have stood shoulder-to-shoulder to campaign for a fairer, safer industry for food delivery riders, rideshare drivers, and couriers like AmazonFlex drivers.

Workers have made remarkable progress, with gig giants Uber and DoorDash signing charters with the TWU agreeing to regulation to lift standards for gig workers, and the Federal Government committing to empowering the Fair Work Commission to set enforceable standards for all transport workers.

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TWU surveys with ride-share drivers and delivery riders uncovered glaring abuses of workers, including pay far below minimum wage, no access to worker rights like superannuation or sick leave, and verbal, physical and sexual harassment and even serious cases of assault.

A survey of 240 food delivery riders also showed riders are suffering over $300 in wage theft each week. Injuries are a major problem with one in four riders reporting being in an accident while working.

This is a snapshot of what the on-demand food delivery riders told us about the impact of technology on work:

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