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Wages not paid? Protests against delivery service Wolt

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Wages not paid?  Protests against delivery service Wolt

Now drivers of the Finnish delivery service Wolt have also taken to the streets: They accuse the company of working with a dubious subcontractor who does not pay.

Not only in Berlin: picture of a strike meeting of Wolt drivers in front of the company’s offices in Athens on April 3, 2023.
picture alliance / ANE / Eurokinissi | Tatiana Bolari / Eurokinissi

It has something of a déjà vu: protesting food delivery people who parade through the streets of Berlin with banners and bicycles, loudly demanding fairer wages? That was already the case with gorillas. And at Lieferando. Now the drivers of the Finnish delivery service Wolt are also getting mobile.

Wolt cheated his riders for several hundred thousand euros the business magazine Capital reported in detail. A subcontractor who employs riders on behalf of Wolt and is said to have not paid for months is criticized. According to the report, it mainly affects foreign employees, primarily from Pakistan, India and Turkey.

120 employees are said to be waiting for their money

What happened: Wolt employees called for a protest on social networks after they said 120 people had not received their wages between November 2022 and January 2023. They are employed by a subcontractor called “Mobile World“, but many without real employment contracts.

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Capital has confronted the operator of the company, apparently a mobile phone shop in Berlin-Neukölln, with the allegations. But at “Mobile World” they don’t want to know anything about any of this, not about working with the food delivery service and not about more than a hundred unpaid employees.

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Wolt admits 29 cases

Wolt also denies to Capital that wages have not been paid. The company also never worked with Mobile World. Wolt admits that subcontractors play a role: However, personnel service providers were only used “temporarily” through which riders could be hired. Due to “obvious irregularities”, however, this was stopped in January 2023. And then Capital learns from the Wolt company: An unspecified personnel service provider did not actually pay employees in full, but there were only 29 cases.

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Who is responsible?

According to the company, it is now being examined how Wolt can “support” those affected. Apparently it is unclear who is responsible for the employees of the subcontractors. And that was exactly one of the main criticisms of the Wolt riders: when they called for their protest, they called for an “end of the exploitative subcontractor system” and permanent jobs on social media.

These are the first protest actions at Wolt – in Germany. However, similar events in Athens and Tbilisi have preceded this in recent days, reports Capital. In Greece, too, the issue of subcontracting was one that local employees criticized, while in Georgia they called for wages to be adjusted for inflation and for health insurance. Hundreds of drivers took to the streets in Prague in February.

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