Platform economy hits on the early delivery

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The morning delivery personnel of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily newspaper, have been classed as independent contractors, who pay for their own pensions, insurances and equipment, even though they work for Early Bird, the delivery company owned by Helsingin Sanomat. In the past, the delivery personnel were regularly employed. There have been problems in the morning delivery, as many workers have quit, because of the bad working conditions.

From the start of the campaign, we have argued that this is not only about food couriers, but about a wider attempt to worsen working conditions through freelance contracts, which shift more and more risks to the employees. The newspaper morning delivery is but one example.

Parliamentary committee hearing

The parliamentary Employment and Equality Committee invited us to give an expert statement regarding work in the platform economy. The committee has given its statement, where they voice many of the same concerns and suggestions we pointed out in the hearing.

The committee notes that clear legal rules concerning the platform economy are needed. Now de facto employers may circumvent legal obligations of employers. More so, the committee notes that the definition of employment could be expanded to cover those who now work as freelancers dependent on the platform companies and that they should receive the same rights and responsibilities as those employed with traditional contracts.

As couriers who work in different situations as employees, self-employed and “fake freelancers” for platform companies, we welcome the statement by the committee. We hope that decision makers take the advice of the committee and that companies like Foodora and Wolt begin negotiations with their workers.

Incredibly sad news from Italy

Last weekend a 19-year old food courier in Bari, Italy was killed in a road traffic accident while working. Our thoughts go out to the victim’s family and all those affected by this tragic event.

This tragic case goes to highlight the dangers of food courier work. Couriers are often encouraged to ride fast to reach targets or paid on a per-delivery fee.