After more than a week of strikes, Wolt delivery drivers agreed to put a halt to their protests and resume work.
The agreement was made after a timeline was set to resolve the differences between employees and employers. It is expected discussions and further meetings will begin after the holidays with a solution hoped to be found in January.
Attending the meeting were a representative group of drivers, Peo and Sek unions, Wolt representatives and several fleet managers. Deputy permanent secretary Andy Apostolou headed the meeting.
“It was agreed to begin a dialogue with a deadline to permanently resolve the problem, aimed at regulating labour rights for the workers in the sector,” a joint statement from the unions said.
The strike, which began over pay cuts drivers got from fleet managers – third party companies which hire non-EU drivers – brought to the fore a number of issues that drivers say are nothing short of discrimination as fleet managers keep up to 40 per cent of their wages.
Around 10 per cent go towards Gesy and social insurance contributions while the remaining 30 per cent is kept as some sort of agency fee. Asylum seekers, political refugees and students have no other avenue to work as delivery drivers without fleet managers.
EU nationals can work as freelancers and enjoy higher rates paid directly from Wolt.
Akel described the strike as a demonstration of modern-day slave labour in the country. It highlights the procedure that grants students and asylum seekers a work permit “is nothing short of human trafficking.”
Instead of the government clamping down on illegalities, it becomes complicit in slave trade, Akel said.
According to Sek union rep Charalambos Avgousti, the aim is not to change the work structure surrounding fleet managers but to ensure proper conditions such as wages and time schedules.
He added it is a broader problem of the sector which is not limited to Wolt.