Sacked food delivery rider wins case
A FOOD delivery rider sacked after publicly criticising the conditions he and other workers endured has won a landmark unfair dismissal case against Foodora.
Josh Kluger, 28, was fired by the food delivery giant in March after speaking out at a public rally in Melbourne against worsening conditions in the gig economy.
On Friday afternoon, the Fair Work Commission found he had been unfairly dismissed.
Its decision found Mr Kluger was an employee of the company, not a contractor, as Foodora had argued.
"The true substantive reason for the dismissal of the applicant was not sound, defensible or well-founded," the Commission's report said.
Earlier in the day, creditors voted to accept the company's offer of paying $3 million of the more than $8 million it owes to riders and local tax authorities.
The Transport Workers Union said Foodora parent company Delivery Hero owed riders unpaid superannuation, while the Australian Tax Office and Revenue New South Wales were also undercut.
TWU spokesman Tony Sheldon said the Fair Work Commission's decision was a world first.
"We have now seen for the first time in the world (that) an institution such as an employment tribunal has designated riders as being employees," Mr Sheldon said.
Mr Kluger, who will receive more than $15,000 in compensation from Foodora, said he at points doubted he would succeed in his case against a global company.
"I didn't think that all this could eventuate," Mr Kluger told reporters in Sydney.
"Riders should be able to earn a decent living and not see their wages continually slashed."
Foodora ceased operating in Australia in August, with the company who owned it saying it was due to a "shift in focus towards other markets".
Delivery staff criticised the business for an "oppressive" culture that saw riders pitted against one another to get the best shifts.