Bolt couriers tell GWU they work 16 hours a day to reach monthly €1,100 wage

GWU is analysing Bolt workers’ contracts in preparation for meeting with employers and DIER


Several abuses are still occurring against food couriers employed with the Bolt digital platform, representatives have told the General Workers’ Union.

The GWU is calling for greater vigilance and stricter enforcement against abusive employment practices. “These workers were facing rampant abuse by not being given their minimum rights at law such as leave, sick leave, and minimum wage. Health and safety rights were non-existent, their relationship with their employer was non-existent, and the Working Time Directive existed only on paper – they were not even considered workers,” GWU deputy secretary-general Kevin Camilleri said.

Camilleri was accompanied by GWU section secretaries Kevin Abela and Jurgen Azzopardi, in a meeting with courier representatives who said they were not being paid minimum wage but simply a miserable commission, that required working 16 hours a day to reach a monthly €1,100 salary.

The GWU was told that these workers were not even covered by personal insurance in case of an accident; they suffer reduced income when a food order is incorrect, or even if they are robbed while delivering their orders. “In terms of human resources, the disproportionate amount is leading to the neglect of both their rights and their health,” Camilleri said.

The workers also said they faced the continuous threat and fear that their work permit could be terminated any day, or that their contracts will not be renewed at their expiry. “Some workers recounted having been beaten up by clients for having delivered their order a few minutes late. We have explained to these workers their rights in the workplace,” Camilleri said.

The GWU has now requested that these workers supply the union with their work contracts ahead of meetings with their employers as well as the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER). “We will be meeting yet again to make our representations to the authorities on these cases of abuse and exploitation,” Kevin Camilleri said.

“We appeal to workers in the same situation to come forward so that together, we can work and stop this abuse once and for all.

“As always, the GWU will be defending the rights and dignity of these workers by all means provided at law. We ask these workers to stay united and get organised, so that together we can overcome these obstacles and stop companies that think they can degrade workers’ dignity and undermine the good work that serious companies, the authorities, and workers’ unions carry out.”