I have worked in the company almost two years, from October 2016 as a freelancer. Back then, shifts were started at the office/rider hub. You could get changed, eat food, drink coffee and socialise. The hub was open all working hours, so for whatever reason, you could access it. Whatsmore, this is where dispatch was located. The fleet managers would be around during office hours, always making sure everything is okay, which was super helpful during those winter months.
May 2017, I was asked to be a rider captain. This is when my contract switched from ‘freelance’ to employed. It meant a lot I was asked, and at the time things were not so bad. But quite soon after this, the tables turned. Shift allocation changed and it became really difficult to gain shifts for freelancers. Dispatch, fleet managers and other roles were not continued, or fired. As a rider captain, we had to start been janitors, letting the riders in and out of the hub at the beginning and end of their shifts. Then soon after, the office/hub was taken away during the autumn/winter months. The overall moral of the workforce was at its lowest, and it was hard.
This is when the rider captains voiced their concerns. We met multiple times to create some basic demands, which we presented to Nordic management. It was a no. But we spoke of laws and human rights and the outcome was, that employee workers (basically rider captain), can access the equipment room but freelancers, no. As by law, the company does not need to provide such essentials for freelance riders. It has been this way ever since. To add, the equipment only has a kettle (provided by a rider), toilet and heating. No cooking or food storage.
But, we kept pushing. Though the equipment room was not an option, we were told that a deal would be made for all riders to have access to multiple coffee shops around the city, were we would have discounted prices, access to toilets and drinking water. This was the best we could do at the time. But, this did not happen and to this day has not happened.
Now the most recent act of Foodora was the pay cut to the freelance riders. Which they may claim was not a cut as (Mon-Fri cyclist pay) went from €8ph, €2 per delivery to, €7ph, €2.20 per delivery. So as you can see, there is a cut and a raise but in no way does it make the pay equivalent to the previous pay model. The workforce knew about this change, they had a month to sign a new contract. If they did not sign, they did not keep their job.
Such companies are taking advantage, as it is not legislated, they can get away with calling someone an entrepreneur, someone who does not get to state their working conditions. This is why I am supporting the campaign! To try for the so called gig economy to be legislated. No one in this day and age should have to work without basic worker rights!
Tyla Haigh, Current Foodora employee, rider captain and ex ‘freelance’ rider.