Moscow Prosecutor’s Office launches investigation into labor law violations as ‘Delivery Club’ couriers threaten to strike
The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into compliance with labor laws following mass complaints from couriers working for the Russian online food-delivery platform “Delivery Club” (part of the Mail.Ru Group). The company’s workers are complaining about deteriorating working conditions, as well as facing an increasing number of monetary penalties. Meanwhile, Delivery Club claims that the situation has been resolved.
Complaints about deteriorating working conditions at “Delivery Club” first appeared in chat groups on the message app Telegram at the beginning of June. Employees wrote that the online order system had begun forcing them to deliver orders over very long distances — up to ten kilometers away (many of these couriers use bicycles to get around). Every time Delivery Club staff members refused to take long-distance orders, they were fined by the company, leaving some workers in the negative at the end of their shifts.
In addition, employees are complaining about unfair dismissals and unpaid wages. As a result of all these grievances, calls to go on strike began to spread across employee chat groups, including suggestions that all of the company’s couriers take a simultaneous day off.
According to Delivery Club, these problems arose while the company was running a test aimed at expanding its delivery zones. The company’s press service assured that the test was completed before the workers’ complaints emerged, and that employees were compensated for all penalties incurred for refusing to accept long-distance orders.
Due to lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow has seen a sharp increase in demand for food delivery services. However, many popular delivery companies have faced difficulties since the lockdown began, leading some companies to increase delivery times or simply stop accepting orders.
Translation by Eilish Hart