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French food delivery gig workers to get minimum wage

Delivery riders are a common sight on French streets
Delivery riders are a common sight on French streets - Copyright AFP Frederic J. BROWN
Delivery riders are a common sight on French streets - Copyright AFP Frederic J. BROWN

Major food delivery platforms on Thursday agreed a minimum hourly wage with representatives of French riders, the workers’ FNAE union said.

People delivering takeaways on bikes and scooters for the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats will be paid at least 11.75 euros ($12.85) per hour, said the FNAE, which represents self-employed people.

That figure is slightly higher than France’s legal minimum wage, which rose on January 1 to 11.27 euros before taxes and social contributions.

“This is an immediate win for delivery riders, of whom around 20 percent were below the threshold” of 11.75, FNAE president Gregoire Leclercq said.

Thursday’s agreement “is a sector-wide agreement that applies to all platforms doing home delivery, those that already exist and in the future,” he added.

Another self-employed people’s union, Union-Independants, said it would consult members about the pay deal.

But its chiefs have already signed on to a separate agreement governing how riders’ contracts can be broken off.

“It’s the end of people being arbitrarily cut off,” union boss Fabian Tosolini said, with riders able to “defend themselves and contest” the platforms’ decisions.

The pay and conditions advances mark the latest step in a broader campaign against “uberisation”, after worker representatives spent years complaining platforms were exploiting an underpaid, precarious workforce.

In January, drivers for ride-hailing platforms secured a minimum payment per trip — rather than per hour — of 7.65 euros.

UK-based Deliveroo was fined 375,000 euros by a Paris court last year, which found its riders were “undeclared workers” and should have been classified as employees — with the failure to do so depriving the state of millions in payroll taxes.

“Deliveroo used a fake legal arrangement that did not correspond to the reality of how the delivery riders work,” the presiding judge said in her ruling.

The company has also been ordered to pay almost 10 million euros in missed social contributions.

Deliveroo has appealed the decision.

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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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