LABOR RELATIONS

Efood is forced to backtrack

Food delivery company has to eat its own words

efood-is-forced-to-backtrack

Efood was forced to take a step back after the fierce reaction generated from its text message to the cellphones of 115 delivery workers last week, expressing its intentions to turn them from full-time employees to freelancers.

In a new message sent over the weekend to its delivery staff, following a public statement retracting the original SMS as poorly drafted, the food delivery company tried to close the issue for good, offering its staff two options: either to renew their existing contracts or work as freelancers if they so wish.

“Contrary to what has been heard and written about blackmail, we clarify that all delivery workers will continue to have a choice,” the second message read, outlining the two aforementioned options.

It added that “the choice is yours. We always stand by your side with absolute honesty and transparency and we remain available to answer any questions you may have. We are sorry about any insecurity you may have felt,” the company apologized.

The contracts of the 115 workers who received the messages about the change in their labor status expire on September 30. Their representatives expressed concern that this labor relations shift will gradually be expanded to all of the company’s delivery workers, while due to the impersonal message they received (without any names as signatories), they doubt whether their contracts will actually be renewed.

The unions of delivery workers staged a rally in Thessaloniki on Monday and today they are holding a work stoppage. Among their demands are “the renewal of all contracts into an indefinite form with direct hiring by efood and with all labor and social security rights, and an end to the ‘bonus’ assessment system with its unclear and arbitrary productivity criteria.”

Since efood was launched in Greece, it has hired delivery professionals on full-time or part-time employment salary contracts. However, as of July 1, it also introduced the model of freelancing, which rival food delivery company Wolt has employed since the start of its activities in this country.