Internal documents reveal how Lieferando is endangering its couriers in the corona crisis

Takeaway.com

Lieferando publicly asserts that it will equip its courier drivers with hygiene equipment to protect against the corona virus. Only: the drivers didn’t know anything.

Chat histories and e-mails show how Lieferando consoled or brushed off its drivers with regard to additional disinfectants.

Thermal backpacks and rain jackets are sometimes exchanged between drivers due to a lack of equipment – sometimes including used handkerchiefs. This is evidenced by an internal message.

If you want to clean your equipment, you have to do it at your own expense and in your free time.

There are currently only a few companies that remain unaffected by the corona crisis or even benefit from it. One of them is the food delivery service Lieferando. In times of closed canteens, limited restaurant opening times and rigorous quarantine measures, the company has become an important supplier for many people these days.

In parallel to the orders, however, the risk of infection for Lieferando courier drivers is also increasing. After all, they come into contact with dozens of customers and restaurant employees every day. In a message from Friday, which was sent to various editorial offices by email, Lieferando therefore announced the introduction of contactless deliveries. In addition, the company assured that it would adequately prepare its courier drivers for the increased corona risk.

Lieferando promises hygiene protection – and drivers don’t know anything

“Employees received special training on correct preventive measures and how to report suspicious situations. The company also distributes hygiene equipment, such as antibacterial hand sanitisers, to its own couriers, ”the letter said, among other things.

The problem: The drivers apparently only found out about the alleged hygiene equipment from the media. Business Insider has several chat histories and emails between drivers and supervisors in this regard. They show how Lieferando consoled or dismissed its drivers with regard to additional protective equipment. When asked when and where to get the promised disinfectant – which, by the way, in the antibacterial variant only helps with the addition of “limited virucidal” against viruses – the answers are sometimes tight.

“I’m the wrong person to talk to. What I would like to know now is: Are you now doing assignments under the current conditions (…)? ”It says at one point. Another manager seems to have little information himself: “The hygiene equipment is delayed. (…) There will still be information on this. “

Hygiene protection for drivers is an “absolute disaster” – even before Corona

The response to this has not yet been received, says a works council to Business Insider, who does not want to be named by name for fear of the consequences on the part of the employer. Apparently there are disinfectant dispensers in some Lieferando hubs. However, if you want to protect yourself and your customers on the go, you currently have to buy gloves and disinfectants yourself.

Even before the beginning of the Cororna crisis, the hygiene regulations for drivers were an “absolute disaster”, according to the works council.

The drivers are encouraged by Lieferando to maintain their equipment and keep it clean. When it comes to implementing the requirement, however, the company leaves its drivers in the lurch, says the works council. Lieferando does not offer a cleaning service, for example for thermal backpacks or work clothes. In addition, no cleaning products are provided. If you want to clean your equipment, you have to do it at your own expense and in your free time.

Drivers may have to share thermal backpacks and jackets

In addition, many drivers share rucksacks and sweaty rain jackets with one another due to insufficient equipment. This is evidenced by a chat message from a Lieferando coordinator (see screenshot) that Business Insider has received. It even mentions used handkerchiefs that would sometimes remain in them when the backpacks were handed over.

The screenshot shows an excerpt from the Lieferando chat app, which reports on the lack of hygiene standards.

The screenshot shows an excerpt from the Lieferando chat app, which reports on the lack of hygiene standards.

Business Insider

Other drivers tell Business Insider that they stopped work because of fear. “I dealt with people every day. It’s really unsafe, ”writes an employee who wants to remain anonymous.

Lieferando only offers disinfectants in its hubs

Business Insider confronted Lieferando with the individual allegations, but initially only received a general statement, which essentially reproduces the press release from Friday.

“All drivers were informed about the specific guidelines of the local authorities. We have also informed our drivers about the health and safety instructions. This was done via email and our driver app. Additional materials with information have also been made available in our hubs. Our hubs in the affected areas have been equipped with hygiene equipment. This includes soap and antibacterial disinfectants such as those used in hospitals. All 14 hubs were already before the virus and are still funded today. Our local hub coordinators check compliance with the guidelines and are in constant contact with the regional health authorities“A spokeswoman wrote in an email to Business Insider.

The company did not initially comment on the cleaning and replacement of equipment. On Tuesday evening around midnight, around four hours after the publication of this article, Lieferando reported her again by email.

Lieferando apparently has a two-class system for drivers

A spokesman confirmed that some of the equipment was exchanged: “It is correct that we use work equipment as efficiently as possible and, where it makes sense, that the work equipment is shared. This is particularly true of the backpacks, helmets and e-bikes. Jackets and trousers are usually given to the drivers individually. “

There seems to be a two-tier system in terms of helping drivers clean their belongings. According to the Lieferando spokesman, a distinction is made between lift drivers who have access to the local Lieferando centers and non-lift drivers. The latter group includes, for example, former Foodora drivers.

Anyone who has access to the hub can clean their backpacks there in between or at the end of the shift. The non-lift drivers, on the other hand, are on their own: “They have their own material and are responsible for it. The remuneration times are more difficult to record here, which is why we are currently in negotiations with the works council, ”said the spokesman.

Works council does not represent all drivers

Employee rights have always been an issue at Lieferando and its parent company Takeaway.com. Until the takeover of competitor Foodora in December 2018, there was no works council at Lieferando. With the merger of the companies, the Foodora works councils also switched to Lieferando, but have since officially only been allowed to represent the former Foodora drivers.

There are a total of six works councils that represent the northern regions (including Hamburg, Bremen, Kiel), Cologne, Münster, Stuttgart, Nuremberg / Fürth and Frankfurt / Offenbach.


Note: Some statements from Lieferando were added afterwards, as they were not yet available at the time of publication. The passages are marked accordingly.

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