The call comes after it emerged that Delivery Hero subsidiary Foodora potentially owes millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and wages in Australia.
The Australian Taxation Office, Revenue NSW and the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia attended a creditors meeting this week detailing the outstanding debts.
Underpayments have been continuing for years as Foodora has refused to pay legally-required minimum rates, retirement savings and payroll tax. Foodora appointed external administrators on 20 August.
Tony Sheldon, chair of the road transport section of the ITF, commented: “Delivery Hero is a global operation with revenues of over EUR350 million and it has been engaging in wage theft and non-payment of taxes in Australia on a grand scale.
“It must not be allowed to shift its operations around based on where it can get away with exploiting its delivery riders and refusing to pay tax.
“We now know Foodora left Australia because riders were challenging underpayments and because the tax authorities were investigating it. The Australian federal government has allowed this to happen.
“Governments must ensure workers are paid what they are owed before these cowboys are allowed to leave.”
The ITF calls on all governments to ensure that all workers in the on-demand economy have the rights and protections they deserve.
Baker Khundakji, ITF global youth co-ordinator, also commented: “All workers deserve minimum rates, sick pay, annual leave, compensation if they are injured on the job, the right to collectively bargain and the right to challenge an unfair dismissal.
“We are seeing governments standing by while tech billionaires re-introduce eighteenth century working conditions via an app. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
Hundreds of delivery riders have protested around the world demanding rights. In several countries legal cases have been taken to establish these rights.
In Australia, a survey of riders showed:
- Three out of four riders are paid below minimum rates.
- Almost 50 percent of riders had either been injured on the job or knew someone who had.
- Over 70 percent of riders said they should get entitlements such as sick leave.
- 1 in 4 riders (26 percent) work full time hours (40+ hours per week).
- 3 in 4 (76 percent) riders work 20 or more hours per week.
- Over 26 percent work more than 40 hours a week.
- The average age is just under 26 years