Deliveroo announced yesterday that it has been placed into voluntary administration and will be withdrawing its operations from Australia, leaving riders in the lurch.
Rod Barton MP has long been advocating for greater regulation in the gig economy and believes Deliveroo’s exit will be the first of many.
Like other food delivery apps, Deliveroo claims that their riders are not employees but rather ‘independent contractors.’ This absolved its responsibility to pay its riders minimum wage, superannuation, redundancy pay, annual leave or sick leave.
There is no safety net in the gig economy. These riders are some of the most vulnerable workers in the country and they have been working under a set of conditions and with a rate of pay most Australians would not accept.
This morning, these 15,000 transport workers woke up to the news that they have lost their job. This is devastating.
Barton believes that with the emerging federal government reforms to the gig economy, more of these gig economy companies will want out.
The gig economy is founded on a model of exploitation, where companies sell services at a price below the cost of delivery to increase their market share. This race to the bottom has far-reaching consequences for all workers, as previously sustainable businesses can’t keep up and secure work vanishes.
Gig economy reform cannot come soon enough for transport workers. While the public may have been lured in by low prices at first glance, we are now witnessing the dark side of insecure work and Australians don’t want it.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“The Victorian Government has given these gig-economy giants free reign. Insecure work has become the new norm and workers are forced to fight for rights they won decades ago. It feels like we are going backwards.”
“These riders have nothing to fall back on. There is no safety net in the gig economy.”
“These companies will do whatever it takes to turn a profit. Only government regulation can protect workers from exploitation and harassment. Reform can’t come quick enough.”