The move is part of a motion by the Transport Workers’ Union which would see riders for Foodora, UberEats, Deliveroo and others included in NSW legislation protecting owner drivers. The move would also see other owner drivers included in the legislation who are currently omitted, such as bread, milk and cream delivery drivers.
A separate motion calls on a Federal Labor Government to ensure job security, fair rates, superannuation and safe working conditions for all on-demand economy workers. It also calls on a Labor Government to: “Hold every company in gig economy contract chains accountable for safe and fair outcomes for workers”.
A food delivery rider, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon, NSW ALP Shadow Minister for Industrial relations Adam Searle and NSW ALP MP Greg Warren will address the media before the party conference.
“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 Foodora, UberEats, Deliveroo and others are openly flouting the law by denying their workforce these rights. Including riders in NSW legislation will make it harder for them to continue doing this,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The NSW legislation, contained in Chapter 6 of the Industrial Relations Act, ensures independent contractors have the right to minimum rates, conditions and access to the independent Industrial Relation Commission to resolve disputes, such as unfair dismissals. The TWU motion calls for inclusion in the legislation of “owner-drivers who carry bread, milk or cream and owner-drivers who deliver food to homes or other premises”.
“It is also a ridiculous anomaly that truck drivers carrying bread, milk and cream are currently excluded from legislation which has protected other owner drivers for decades. The plight of drivers at bread makes Tip Top is a perfect example of what happens when rights are denied. These drivers have seen their families struggle and their businesses go under because Tip Top has continually slashed their rates. Because these drivers are excluded from protection, they cannot take a case. Tip Top have shown no mercy, even trying to pressurise a driver dying of cancer into accepting lower rates. This problem needs to be remedied,” Sheldon added.
Tip Top has been exposed over forcing drivers to struggle with weekly cuts to pay of up to $1000 a week. A raid by the RMS on a western Sydney Tip Top depot last year showed maintenance on trucks is also not being carried out, with 25 defect notices issued out of 46 trucks inspected.
Food delivery riders have protested in recent months over pay and conditions. An unfair dismissal case involving a food delivery rider opens at the Fair Work Commission on July 3.
A survey of riders has shown:
- 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
TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen said: “There should be no difference in the way a transport worker is treated on the job, whether they are delivering bread to a shop or dinner to a home. We welcome an end to the antiquated exemption from Chapter 6 that currently applies to workers delivering bread, milk and cream, and we wholly support the extension of fair and legal treatment to hardworking food delivery riders.”