This is our statement to an article in the Business Insider online magazine, in which the CEO of Delivery Hero states that he prefers individual agreements over collective bargaining.
When speaking about work, it is important not to only focus on wages, but also on rights as workers. These rights were established to make sure, that a working human being enjoys a decent and healthy quality of life, which also includes recreation phases as well as income and job security, and - because we live in a democracy - participation rights in the company.
In Austria less than 5 % of people seen with a Mjam backpack benefit from general workers’ rights, while the rest benefits at max from the good will of the company.
Back in 2017, at Ingo Gerth's time, an ED was earning 7,56 € / hour + 60 cent / order as Kilometergeld.
After we set up a Kollektivvertrag, it was raised to 8,71 € + 14 cent / km as Kilometergeld.
Simultaneously to the KV, mjam came up with a new payment model for FDs, which also should serve the purpose - as they argued - to be able to compete. Lieferando pays far more attractive 11 € / h and also - as they did not argue - the FD contract had to be able to compete with ED conditions.
So an FD earns 4 € per order, from which 76 cents count as Kilometergeld. Mjam guarantees to pay an average of 2 orders per hours as a minimum, so when the avg UTR of the month is below 2, Mjam pays 2 orders, so 8 € (minus km-Geld which counts as compensation for bike and phone, it’s 6,24 € / h). This is the bottom line, and it won’t get lower than that, so this must be what Niklas Östberg calls „solid“.
If the avg UTR is higher, they earn according to their UTR. This is in many cases quite high, and I guess the average is somewhere around 10 € / h. But as we riders all know, there are too many factors that we can’t influence, like waiting times in restaurants or simply traffic rules. So I can’t accept that as „solid“.
The minimum wage according to the Kollektivvertrag 2021 is 8,90 € / h plus Kilometergeld (0,24€/km) and all above mentioned rights for decent and healthy quality of life, including an extra salary in summer and at Christmas (14 salaries) which is quite normal in Austria. This is solid.
Now Niklas Östberg claims, that the union didn’t ask the riders, what they want. In Austria the riders came to the union and not the other way around, in Germany it happened the same way. In response, VIDA - the union for our branch, now offers memberships also for FDs, and indeed a growing number of FDs join the union.
Of course there are also - riders who achieve very high UTRs (Utilisation Rate - how many orders you can do in one hour) and earn up to 14 € / hour, who would not want to become an ED, as they truly earn more as an FD - accounted on one hour of work. Very often this high UTR is achieved in the best shifts and only present a small selection of evidence. This system pushes riders hard to bend traffic rules and can promote a risky riding style - it is the best time of the week to make money! So if you only ride limited shifts, it´s understandable how important it is to make the most out of it. Or if you bought an expensive e-bike, you might work even 60h/week to make the investment worth it. From a health and security perspective, this is not a solid system but reckless.
Niklas Östberg further claims, that without happy riders there wouldn’t be happy customers. Business Insider might want to ask DH’s customer care if that is true. Colleagues are under so much pressure to make as many orders as possible quickly, that even backpacks stay open although it is 0°C outside. This goes for extending the backpack to fit the food properly (like putting pizza vertically) or other timesaving measures as dropping off in front door without waiting for the customer - you have to be fast to get a decent income. All of this also leads to aggression in traffic and in restaurant pick ups, where frustratingly long wait times reduce rider profitability. These issues often arise and are not single cases, I hear about issues like these happening regularly.
In the end, we can say that the competitive system of FD salaries is really not what we want, nor is it what customers want. Everything FDs need in order to want to become an ED is more flexibility and a higher pay. Sure, it's 2020, we all want that. But that doesn't mean, not sticking to a Kollektivvertrag makes workers' lives and business better. Even when it only applies to 50 colleagues, because in the game of Delivery Hero, the FD contract must be able to compete with the ED contract. Without EDs and a Kollektivvertrag, I am quite sure, the FD salaries would have never been improved like that. But why? Why can't we just have all the rights of a worker with more of the flexibility of an FD? I believe this is possible and it's about time.