The Guardian • Issue #1968

Menulog trial marks gig milestone

Transport Workers’ Union Statement

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #1968

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has welcomed the commencement of Menulog’s employment trial as an important milestone toward achieving minimum rights and standards in the food delivery industry.

Menulog today revealed that the first delivery riders have been directly employed as part of its Sydney CBD trial announced two months ago.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said all eyes will be on this trial as an Australia-first in the gig economy.

“This trial is an important deviation from the deliberate misclassification model introduced by Uber and replicated by tech start-ups across the world, which was purposefully designed to circumvent industrial laws and exploit workers. It incentivises risk-taking, forcing riders to work quickly over long hours. Tragically, six riders died last year.”

“The TWU is excited to see the trial get off the ground. We hope this marks a turning point in what has been a merciless, deadly industry. Menulog is blazing the trail and we look forward to ongoing cooperation to achieve appropriate standards and conditions for food delivery riders.”

“With the right balance, Menulog will find the harmony of fairness and flexibility the likes of Uber and Deliveroo try to deny is possible,” said Kaine.

The TWU is calling on the Federal Government to level the playing field by urgently implementing a tribunal to set enforceable minimum standards for all workers.

“The ability to eradicate gig economy exploitation depends on the government’s willingness to support companies doing the right thing by regulating those hellbent on doing the opposite,” Kaine added.

Last week, it was revealed that Uber covered up the death of a fourth delivery rider and avoided paying compensation to his family by claiming he wasn’t working at the time, despite the worker being logged into the app and still receiving delivery requests even after he had died.

The TWU is calling for an independent investigation into why SafeWork NSW has allowed Uber to continue operating with the same deadly business model after at least eight riders have been killed.

The Guardian can also be viewed/downloaded in PDF format. View More