The decision of a Greek online delivery distribution platform to message some of its delivery workers to inform them that they would have to become freelancers to continue their relationship with the company resulted in a customer backlash on social media on Friday.
Using the hashtags such as #cancel_efood, people took to social media to say they had uninstalled Efood’s app from their devices and would no longer be using the service in protest at the company’s approach to labour rights.
In a message sent to 115 of its distributors on three-month contracts on Thursday, Efood informed them that their relationship with the company would not be renewed unless they became freelancers.
The message, a copy of which circulated on social media, said that “in the context of increasing the productivity of the [company’s] fleet and its broader strategy,” it asked the 115 contract workers to become freelancers.
Many users of the app were not happy.
“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,” said one disgruntled user.
A union representing hotel, tourism and food workers accused the company of “blackmail.”
Efood subsequently issued a statement regretting the “incorrect wording” of the message sent to the 115 delivery workers.
“There was no intention of creating a climate of insecurity among distributors, but instead offered to those workers whose contracts were expiring [on 30 September], a new way of working with the company that will work positively for both parties.”
Established ten years ago, Efood works with more than 15,000 stores in 90 cities in Greece. The company says it employs 3,700 people, 3,000 of whom are in delivery.