Deliveroo made the call in its submission to the Victoria government inquiry into the on-demand economy.
“Deliveroo is throwing workers a bone to try and shut them up but on-demand workers know they have rights and will keep pushing for them. This is another public relations exercise to try to hide the exploitation that goes on every day,” said TWU’s co-ordinator on the on-demand economy Tony Sheldon.
Deliveroo has drastically changed conditions and pay for its workers since arriving in Australia. It has:
- Scrapped hourly rates
- Increased distances for deliveries, thereby reducing pay since they are paid per delivery
- Terminated workers without warning or the chance to appeal
- Insists on workers working shifts, with little flexibility to get out of them even during dangerous weather conditions
“Since arriving in Australia Deliveroo has treated its delivery riders appallingly. It says its work is flexible but insists on workers taking on shifts that are difficult to get out of even when there is torrential rain. Last year workers woke up to a 30-40% pay cut when it increased delivery distances without warning. This company is simply planning new ways of ensuring its exploitative business model continues,” Sheldon added.
A survey of food delivery riders shows three out of four are paid below minimum rates. Almost 50% of riders had either been injured on the job or knew someone who had. Just last month two UberEats riders were killed in Sydney while they were working.
“Just like Uber’s announcement that it will provide below standards insurance for its workers what Deliveroo is proposing is to keep stealing from its workers and denying their rights. Workers want minimum rates, superannuation, sick leave, pay when they get injured on the job, the right to collectively bargain and the right to challenge an unfair dismissal,” he added.
Food delivery company Foodora admitted last year it had been underpaying its riders and not paying their superannuation. The company is in the process of paying $3 million towards the $8 million it owes in underpayments, superannuation and taxes.
Josh Klooger, a Foodora rider, in November won an unfair dismissal case against the company when the Fair Work Commission ruled he was an employee.
Hundreds of delivery riders and supporters have protested in Sydney and Melbourne demanding rights.
Jim Stanford, economist and director of the Centre for Future Work at The Australia Institute has written of the on-demand economy: “Employers are once again dusting off the 19th-century playbook: organising their businesses in ways that shift risk and cost to workers, and tapping a low-cost, ‘just-in-time’ workforce.”