Who’s Hub? Our Hub!

The Deliverunion campaign is picking up speed again!

After the negotiations with Foodora failed on 3 November, riders and supporters gathered for a rally in front of the Foodora “hub” in Berlin-Mitte. They then spontaneously took over the “hub”, put up a union white board and discussed the next steps of the campaign. Anger amongst the riders is great: most riders are ready for an escalation up to a strike.

After the Foodora’s parent company “Delivery Hero”, which also owns, amongst others, Lieferheld and pizza.de, entered the stock market, Foodora had initially signaled its willingness to negotiate with the drivers in July 2017. In the first round of negotiations in August, representatives of the company had then made a firm commitment to work out proposals for the implementation of the riders’ three main demands: A wage increase, that the company cover it’s operating costs (especially the costs for bike repairs), and an improvement in the shift planning system to the benefit of the riders.

A second negotiation meeting, at which the company was to make concrete offers, was then postponed several times by the management. At the same time, the working conditions of the riders were changed once again: the shift swap system has become much more inflexible, and since September, only the best 15% of riders receive the bonus. This not only makes the bonus system much less transparent, it also encourages the riders in their already dangerous job to endanger their safety even more by risky driving. The second round of negotiations, which finally took place at the beginning of November, turned out to be a farce. Not only had the company not prepared any concrete proposals, but the representatives of the management did not signal any willingness to negotiate. Only a system of “material aid” to replace smaller spare parts such as bicycle hoses has been announced.

The riders saw no choice but to declare the negotiations to have failed for the time being. It is not unlikely that the company only entered into the negotiations in the first place to avoid bad press at the time Delivery Hero entered the stock market. But damage to Foodora’s image will be hard to prevent now: After last Friday’s rally, the riders want to continue making their demands heard on the street. Direct actions and union actions are also planned. At the same time, they are drawing up a more comprehensive list of demands – which could form the basis for collective bargaining in the future. With the notice board, which is hanging in the Foodora “Hub” since Friday, the FAU is also strengthening its presence in the company and can inform the regularly newly recruited riders about upcoming meetings, actions and of course about their rights as workers – Riders Unite!