Germany: union support for food delivery workers fighting for rights in the ‘platform economy’
The German Food and Allied Workers (NGG) are giving strong support to bicycle couriers fighting for their rights at the food delivery ‘platforms’ Foodora and Deliveroo, who together employ over 4,000 workers in dozens of cities.
Foodora workers in Cologne joined the NGG and formed a works council last year; they were joined by Deliveroo workers in February 2018. Delivery workers are hired on short-term contracts or as bogus ‘self-employed’. They are compelled to pay their own sickness and accident insurance as well as the cost of their bicycles and safety equipment, which leaves their hourly compensation below the national minimum wage. They receive no compensation for waiting time and no compensation for accidents at work. The companies have responded to worker organizing by increasing the number of ‘freelance’ workers and by impeding the functioning of the works councils, including by refusing to renew the contracts of militant activists.
A day of national action against exploitation, precarious work and union-busting at Deliveroo is planned for April 13.