'Are we worth $3?': Some Uber Eats riders say shrinking pay and poor training is putting them in danger

Twitter: @TWUAus
  • Uber Eats riders claimed their pay has been cut in the new year, at a protest in front of NSW Parliament on Wednesday.
  • The Transport Workers’ Union claims that decreasing pay is increasing pressure on riders, making them more likely to be injured or die.
  • Five delivery workers were killed over a two month period late last year, leading the NSW Government to undertake a number of new initiatives to improve safety and assist those gig workers who are in an accident.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Some Uber Eats workers have started off the year by continuing their protests against what they claim is increasingly poor treatment by the platform.

A handful of drivers and riders assembled in front of NSW Parliament House to draw attention to what they claim is shrinking fees over the years.

The shrinking rates, they say, is encouraging workers to put themselves at risk to try and make the same amount of money.

One of the event’s organisers and Uber Eats rider Eduardo said he’s seen Uber Eats conditions deteriorate while he’s been working for the company.

“I’m very concerned about the situation. If right now many of us can barely get acceptable earnings, what will be the situation by the end of this year?” he said at the protest.

“I think there is a visible trend year after year, there is a reduction of fees. Aren’t we worth 3 dollars? Or 4 dollars? We work in the rain, we work at night, we work in dangerous weather conditions.”

On January 6, drivers noticed that they had received lower delivery fees than before.

Uber told Business Insider that this was due to a bug, and that workers were back paid for any fee lower than the current minimum rate.

“It is in no way reflective of a new pricing system. We diagnosed the cause of this error, fixed it within hours and corrected the partner payments and apologised to the impacted partners for the inconvenience,” they said.

Transport Workers’ Union’s Jack Boutros blamed decreasing pay for pressuring riders, contributing to their risk of injury or death.

“They were killed because they were rushing from place to place and a few months after those lives are being buried, pay has been cut again by this reckless company,” he said.

This comes after five food delivery drivers in Australia died over a two month period last year.

Last month, it was reported that gig economy companies including Uber, road safety organisations and the Transport Workers Union were developing a joint safety plan together to address the spate of accidents.

Various state bodies in NSW are using the information collected at the meeting to develop a state safety plan for the industry, and the state government announced it will develop a stand alone workers compensation scheme, too.

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