Wolt has also cut food courier fees
Wolt’s couriers report that their guaranteed hourly pay was cut last spring. The courier in the photo is not involved in this article. Photo: PAM’s archives/Lassi Kaaria
The question of food courier pays surfaced in the summer as Foodora cut the fees paid to food couriers. Now PAM was contacted by a rider of Wolt, their competitor, who revealed that also Wolt had lowered the guaranteed hourly pay last spring.
The food delivery service Wolt cut the guaranteed hourly pay of their riders in March, the riders report. Earlier, the guaranteed hourly pay for work on weekends was at least 12 euro but is now down to 10 euro, and the weekday pay went from 10 to 8 euro. The guaranteed sum is paid if the delivery fees earned in an hour do not add up to and beyond the said level. The couriers and riders pay themselves for their bikes and vehicles, including eventual fuel expenses, and so use some of their fees to cover their costs.
According to the calculations made by the courier who contacted PAM, this change means a 200–300 euro cut, approximately, in his income. Another courier confirmed the change but told PAM that the cut does not impact his income that much as he mainly works during the busiest hours. Likewise, a third courier confirmed the cut made last spring by Wolt in the guaranteed hourly pay.
“Not a single courier I spoke to about this issue was happy about the change, for obvious reasons, so we all gave feedback accordingly. However, the change was imposed”, the third courier reported in his message.
The couriers contacted by PAM work in the Helsinki and Turku areas.
According to Henrik Pankakoski, General Manager Finland at Wolt, the guaranteed hourly pay was cut because the couriers did not book as many guaranteed hours as earlier but preferred to do their scheduling more freely.
“Lowering the guaranteed hourly pay made it possible for us to increase the weekly bonuses which are determined on the basis of the number of deliveries, as well as to increase the fees per delivery during weekdays in the Helsinki metropolitan area. In other words, even if the guaranteed hourly pay decreased, the couriers’ average fees increased as a result of the new fee scheme, from 12.6 to about 12.8 euro per hour (+1–2%) in August-September. Using this new scheme, the fee is based on deliveries made rather than on numbers of hours worked. We want to be transparent in the sense that we are constantly working to establish a fee scheme that would work from every party’s perspective and would also be sustainable in view of the company’s future”, Mr Pankakoski commented on the issue in his message.
“We are aware of the fact that such changes in the fee scheme impact individual couriers differently”, he added. According to Mr. Pankakoski, the feedback given by the couriers on the change in the scheme has been mainly positive.
Earlier, the Wolt management had told the business newspaper Kauppalehti that the operations in Finland are already profitable but the company’s expansion to other countries generates costs.
Last summer, various media reported that Wolt’s competitor Foodora had cut the fees paid to their couriers. Foodora couriers have since then conducted a campaign for the defence of their rights. This year, PAM has tried to open channels to discuss the working conditions and situation of Wolt’s couriers, among others. In so-called platform economy companies, where the jobs are distributed through an application or online platforms, the workers mainly have no employment contract with the platform company.