My name is Henri Siira, current Rider Captain at Foodora, and I support this campaign.
Taking a stand is easy when one’s labor rights are guaranteed by the scope of national law. That is not the case for those affected by Foodora’s recent policies. Starting out as a freelancer, I’ve known the other side of the fence, and the work I do now as a courier is for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the work I did back then. I want to give my voice to all the couriers caught trying to survive in this wild west of work that is the so-called platform economy – an industry that has weaponized semantics, thus managing to roll back one hundred years of struggles for fair labor rights in favor of unchecked exploitation of the human as a factor of production.
During the two years I’ve been with Foodora I’ve witnessed both good times and bad – the former preceding the latter. When I started in 2016 the good times were pretty good; a warm and collaborative atmosphere at the office, amplified by caring fleet managers who’d engage you in conversation; riders coming in whenever during their shifts to warm up, use the toilet or eat some food; sometimes a bowl of fruit or a pack of biscuits on the rider space table, all provided by the company, as to say “you are important to us, we care about you”.
The subsequent bad has in turn been pretty bad. This last year has seen systematic and serious degradation of working conditions especially for delivery partners, starting with outsourcing the dispatching to Germany, discontinuing the rider space with all its essential functions, automating and cutting resources from the communication between management and riders, and most recently culminating in a de facto dictated pay cut across the board. The official line is that the company still cares for its riders, but actions suggest otherwise. Or at a minimum, other, more excel sheet economic, factors take way more priority.
I think working conditions shouldn’t be a derivative of the benevolence or rapaciousness of a company, as is the case of my experience with the ‘two faces’ of Foodora. I think this is what labor laws were established for in the first place. I think it’s a travesty that this type of grey zone labor has been slipped through the cracks of the finnish legal so-called-safety net, and is still allowed to persist.