May 5, 2019

Fighting for rights in the on-demand economy

Gig economy companies like Uber, UberEATS, Deliveroo and Menulog are gaming the system to exploit workers. The TWU, ride-share drivers and food delivery riders are fighting back.

TWU surveys with ride-share drivers and delivery riders have 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 new 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:

The TWU partners with the Rideshare Drivers Co-operative and Delivery Riders Alliance to take action and fight for rights, with some great results.

  • Riders served a Charter of Rights on Uber and Deliveroo demanding minimum rates and the right to bargain for better pay and safety.
  • TWU took legal action against Uber in the Fair Work Commission after a food delivery driver was sacked for being just 10 minutes late.
  • Foodora has been forced to pay back millions in underpaid wages and superannuation to its delivery riders
  • The TWU and former Foodora rider Josh Klooger won an unfair dismissal case after he was sacked for speaking out about riders’ rights
  • Airbnb signed a charter with the TWU that commits them to only promoting package and food delivery companies that give their workers safe rates of pay and conditions
  • The Federal Labor Party has backed a system of Safe Rates for all transport workers – including those in the gig economy
  • The State Government in Victoria has conducted an enquiry into the gig economy and the need for regulation, see video below
  • NSW Labor has announced Daniel Mookhey MLC as the first Shadow Minister for the Gig Economy. Listen to Daniel’s interview on ABC breakfast radio:


A recent survey into work in the gig economy, the largest of its kind, reveals transport workers are struggling more than others.

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