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In the past few weeks, it has snowed much in Finland. Up to the point that the police has on the worst days recommended that those who have the option, work from home, because road conditions have been bad. Still, couriers and drivers—whom Foodora and Wolt class as independent contractors or “delivery partners”—need to work.
On one of the days with the heaviest snow, the car of a Foodora driver was stuck in snow, and they could not make it to their shift. As the driver could not cancel the shift 24 hours in advance, they received a “no show”, which will make it harder to receive shifts in the future. When the driver asked the “no show” to be revoked, as they could not make it, because their car would not move, Foodora refused, because the driver could have ordered tow truck—at the driver’s expense.
The couriers and drivers have the responsibilities and obligations of an employee, they cannot refuse orders that financially do not make sense to them, they cannot miss shifts and they have to work according to the direction of the dispatchers. However, they have none of the rights of an employee, and if they are injured, fall ill or their vehicles break down, Foodora and Wolt do not take any responsibility. By expecting the drivers and couriers to behave like employees, but denying them the rights of employees, and denying them the freedom of freelancers, Foodora and Wolt try to have it both ways.
The “flexibility” that Foodora and Wolt advertise as a benefit of the freelancer contract is only beneficial for the companies.