I feel so angry every time I read about this because it is a case of our own exploiting our own, if the accusations prove to be true. EASI is a food delivery service working around Sydney’s Chinatown and close proximity surrounding suburbs ( pretty much CBD/downtown Sydney area). The service has been dubbed as “Chinese Uber Eats”, and food is delivered by motorized bikes. However, how awesome this type of service may sound, there are accusations that the company EASI is exploiting its workers by under paying them.
One of the former riders Kiet, worked for them when he arrived in Australia to study English. The base rate he received ( and most likely all riders receive) is $6 AUD an hour which is way under Australia’s minimum wage which is around $18.93 AUD, and a full days work will earn him less than net $150 AUD, which is considered as being underpaid. If you add in the long wait times (Kiet states he has had to wait 2 hours sometimes) and the fact he has no insurance, the risks outweigh the rewards. In addition, when the wait time is long, the riders need to rush to make the deliveries and Sydney’s CBD is very busy and full of cars, so you can imagine the danger.
Boasting 200,000 app downloads, EASI motorised bike riders in their distinctive yellow uniforms – dubbed the “Chinese UberEATS” in online forums – are an increasingly common sight in Australian inner cities alongside bigger players UberEATS and Deliveroo.
But critics of the gig economy say the controversial practices of online food delivery giants – which have drawn worker protests, media attention and lawsuits – are being used by smaller or niche operators that are still slipping “below the radar”.
“Because of the size of some of the smaller operators, they are getting away with the same sort of exploitation but unlike the larger ones they aren’t getting found out,” said Transport Workers Union (TWU) national secretary Tony Sheldon.
Riders for food delivery platforms are typically engaged as independent contractors, a practice that has come under scrutiny and criticism as it means they are not given employee entitlements such as award wages, superannuation and workers’ compensation.
In addition, the company which owns EASI Australian Delivery United Group, rejects all these accusations, citing that delivery riders are independent sub-contractors and not employees and are free to make up their own time. They also claim the bike rental were up to the contractors who own the franchises – essentially trying to claim they have no responsibility, which in my eyes shows how shit they are.
I would definitely like to see sub contracting delivery services like these regulated better, because the people who suffer the most are those who actually do the work.
Images via SBS News
To read the original article, please click on: Chinese food delivery service accused of exploiting workers in Australia