A few of the workers and couriers in Melbourne banded together to publicly criticise the conditions they were working in the gig economy currently booming in the AU, under the employ of food delivery services like Foodora.
One such worker was 28-year-old Josh Kruger, a courier working for the company, who was fired by the company earlier in March 2018, following his attendance in the public rally by many workers and couriers in Melbourne against the worsening conditions workers were being forced to deal with in the gig economy.
On the 16th of November, Friday, Australia’s Fair Work Commission ruled that Foodora had unfairly dismissed him, finding that Mr. Kluger was indeed a company of the food delivery giant, not a contractor as they had argued. According to the FWC’s report on the case, the true substantive reason for Kluger’s dismissal, presented by Foodora, was neither sound, defensible or well-founded.
Earlier that same day, creditors have opted to accept the company’s offer of compensating them for part of the more than $8 million that it owes to its riders and local tax authorities, for about $3 million.The Australian Transport Workers’ Union says that Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, owed its riders unpaid superannuation, on top of the company undercutting the Australian Tax Office and Revenue NSW, owing money to the tax authorities.
According to the TWU spokesperson Tony Sheldon pointed out that the Fair Work Commission’s decisions was the first of its kind across the world. He says that the world has not seen such a ruling ever before, where such an institution, an employment tribunal, has designated riders as being employees of companies.
Mr. Kluger himself will receive at least $15,000 in compensation from Foodora, openly stated his doubt on whether or not he could actually win against the food delivery titan, a global company with offices across the world.
He says that he didn’t know what this case could lead to. Kluger believes that riders deserve the right of many workers; the right to earn a decent living without having to worry about seeing their wages constantly cut.