Bolt has confirmed it is aware of a planned strike taking place on Friday (tomorrow) by food couriers who are protesting “massive pay decreases” and the constant addition of couriers, leaving existing ones with less work.
“We are working towards optimising the pricing that should have a positive impact on courier earnings within the next few days. Our goal is to provide high quality service to our customers and best earning opportunities to our couriers,” a spokesperson told BusinessNow.mt
Peter Miller took to public Facebook group Expats Malta to announce the taking place tomorrow. sharing that it has been planned via a WhatsApp group with 300 Bolt couriers. He warned that courier pay has “practically halved” over the last few months, and many couriers “are not even on minimum wage anymore”.
The poster went on to warn customers not to order via Bolt on Friday “as you may not get your food”.
Making a comparison, the poster claimed that this time last year, a 2km lunch time delivery including a 15-minute wait at the restaurant for food amounted to a gross pay of €5.40, today the same trip would leave a driver with €4.10, claiming that the rate is even worse on weekend nights.
Complaints were also raised that the Bolt food application now sends couriers to restaurants five minutes early for each pick up, meaning wait time for couriers is longer without earning anything.
It is widely acknowledged that couriers need to be on back-to-back deliveries for their shifts to make sense financially.
The majority of Bolt couriers, like other food delivery companies such as Wolt, are employed via agencies, who then provide couriers to Bolt. This means that the company subcontracts and pays the agencies, which then pay out wages to the drivers.
This was confirmed by the Bolt spokesperson, who said the strike is being organised by self-employed couriers “which means that they are freelancers/independent contractors and Bolt does not pay salaries”.
BusinessNow.mt reached out to the original poster to get more details about the strike and is awaiting to hear back.
Food courier conditions in the spotlight once again
Earlier this year, an investigation carried out by Malta’s Department of Industrial and Employer Relations (DIER) found that many conditions being faced by couriers are not entirely in line with the law, however once again, such drivers are on the books of agencies, and not the food delivery companies.
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