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24.04.2023 12:28

A new trade union branch established for food couriers at PAM – “An important step in improving the status of couriers”

In March, couriers founded an association where couriers from all platform companies can join. PAM accepted it as a trade union branch in April.

Ruokalähettien PAM Couriers Finlandin toimintaa suunnittelevat hymyssä suin Boniface Mutindi

The new association contacted PAM, and PAM’s board accepted it as a trade union branch in April 18.

PAM Couriers Finland is a national trade union branch with the aim of bringing couriers from different platform companies together and improving their status financially and socially. Couriers from both Wolt and Foodora are already involved.

“Together with the couriers, we evaluate how these goals could be reached. PAM’s role is to provide a framework and offer our expertise to help couriers. Now that the couriers are organized, it is possible to promote common goals. Forming the branch is an important step towards fair and equitable treatment for those working in the platform economy”, says PAM’s chair Annika Rönni-Sällinen.

She thinks that at its best, platform economy has brought new smooth services to consumers and flexible opportunities to earn a living for platform workers.

“Unfortunately, companies have also used it as an opportunity to avoid their responsibilities and weaken the position of those who work in the platform economy”, says Rönni-Sällinen.

Like a slap in the face

Food delivery company Wolt’s couriers got upset in March when the company introduced a new salary scheme. According to the couriers, that led to their fees being decreased, and they were not consulted when the new scheme was implemented. A demonstration was organized in Helsinki, and in Jyväskylä the couriers did not work for two days.

“This unilateral change has felt like a slap in the face and has been an unpleasant experience for us couriers”, the union branch writes in its announcement.

Members of the new branch receive the same membership benefits, rights and obligations as other PAM members. There is no collective agreement in the sector – not yet anyway. Those who are currently self-employed cannot join the PAM Unemployment Fund. The union branch will have its first open event on April 27 in Jyväskylä at The Civic Activity Center Matara.

Changing status

Wolt, like many other companies in the platform economy, considers its couriers to be entrepreneurs. In several European countries, the courts have ruled that couriers are, in fact, employees and in an employment relationship with the owners of the platforms. The Finnish Labour Council has outlined the same.

This controversial status has made it difficult for couriers to pursue their interests. Cooperation between companies in pricing could also be considered a cartel. The European Commission outlined last autumn that sole entrepreneurs have the right to negotiate collective agreements in certain situations.


Read more about the branch and join here