Greek delivery workers just got a big win – and they want more
From the militants of PAME (the All Workers Militant Front of Greece) to financial analysts following the fast food industry worldwide, all agreed: the delivery workers at eFood platform won big.
The platform eFood is owned by a German international firm and has 90,000 clients in all major Greek cities, especially the three biggest — Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras. During 2020, a pandemic year, its profits soared by 26.7%. (tinyurl.com/42wjk6b7)
In order to keep profits up, on Sept. 17 eFood told 115 of its workers who were on three-month contracts that they had to either become freelancers or quit. This email went viral and drew reactions from both customers and workers.
Customers/clients of eFood deleted the app from their phones in solidarity with the workers. The tags #delete_efood and #cancel_eFood started to trend. When eFood made it much more difficult to delete the app, customers started giving eFood a bad rating, dragging it down from 3.5 to 2.2 within a few days.
One customer comment on the app read: “Please amplify the news about the struggle of delivery-distribution workers to retain basic rights like social security, employment contracts, decent pay and safety at work. They are essential workers and deserve much better.”
The Trade Union of Workers in Catering-Tourism-Hotels, an organizational member of PAME, organized big strikes all over Greece. Caravans of thousands of motor bikes and scooters roared through the streets, with riders wearing eFood blazers and toting eFood containers. In Athens they also protested the government passing new antilabor laws.
Facing a vast wave of strikes and solidarity throughout Greece, on Sept. 23 the e-Food Company announced: “We are transferring all the existing fixed-term contracts, hiring all 2,016 employees in Efood with contracts of indefinite duration, while recognizing their previous service. We retain the extended rights and additional benefits they enjoyed, such as private insurance.”
According to the Trade Union of Workers in Catering-Tourism-Hotels of Athens, “Efood Workers. We Are victorious! The big strikes that took place all over Greece on Wednesday brought to their knees the multinational electronic platform that announced a few hours ago that all fixed-term contracts become indefinite.” (pamehellas.gr/en)
Based on this victory, the union is considering what additional demands can now be made.