Food delivery companies warn 50% reduction in courier wages “unacceptable”
The government has warned platform labor apps that it will not tolerate legally questionable employment contracts and 50% pay cuts.
Minister Carmelo Abela told food delivery app stakeholders and recruiters that such working conditions were unacceptable, during a meeting held at the Auberge de Castille on Thursday last week.
Abela said he made the government’s position clear in a meeting with stakeholders on various illegalities in the employment practices of food couriers, and that the principle of equal pay for equal work must be upheld.
The meeting took place on Thursday, May 27, with government officials from the Department of Industrial Relations and Employment and fleet managers meeting to discuss a way forward regarding the food courier debacle.
“If we’re not careful, platforms that increase trade can end up being used for exploitation,” Abela wrote in the GWU l-oriżżont daily.
“Our goal is not to choose a fight. Our goal is to reach an agreement where everyone wins. We are not here to hurt businesses, in fact we want to increase wealth. However, we want wealth to grow for everyone, not just entrepreneurs and executives. ”
During the meeting, a presentation from DIER provided an overview of their investigations, pointing to scenarios where platform owners hired contractors to employ couriers themselves; platform owners hire couriers directly or hire them on their own.
Abela said most contracts did not comply with the law and confirmed that the expenses were in fact deducted from the wages of couriers.
Sources said there was general consensus during the meeting that no amount should be deducted from their wages, with fleets paying their workers on an hourly basis with benefits included.
Abela said the wages paid to these workers were already regulated by law, with allowances paid for services required by couriers to perform their jobs. These included a mobility allowance, a wear allowance where applicable and fuel related expenses.
MaltaToday has published extensively on the working conditions faced by couriers. In January, that newsroom revealed that couriers hired by third-party recruiting agencies were receiving a 50% pay cut on their couriers’ wages.
Prior to that, MaltaToday published an article exploring the appeal of being an independent courier, as well as the risks generated by the platform model.