12° Nicosia,
25 June, 2024

The safety of distributors is under the microscope

The need to establish a collective agreement on safety is moving at a slow pace - Proposals have been submitted, developments expected in April

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Distributors of food delivery platforms are continuing to demand better working conditions three months after strikes began and consultations began to establish a framework of conditions. These distributors, along with guilds representing them, were advocating for more humane working conditions and staged a protest in honor of a 26-year-old distributor who died in a road accident while working. The guilds are calling for regulations to be put in place to improve worker safety and reduce the risk of accidents. Neophytos Timinis, the secretary general of the Hotel and Leisure Centre Employees' Guild (SYXKA) PEO, has emphasized the need to speed up dialogue under the umbrella of the Department of Industrial Relations to minimize the risk of future accidents. Consultations are expected to include suggestions such as setting a maximum number of daily journeys and maximizing delivery times for products. The unions have submitted proposals on working conditions, with worker safety considered the most important issue.

Despite progress being made, discussions are still in the preliminary stages due to the involvement of third-party companies in the employment of distributors. The responsibility for safety lies with state authorities who issue work permits in Cyprus. Guilds have called for safety and health checks to be carried out after permits are issued. The next meetings between parties will focus on safety issues, including suggestions such as a predetermined minimum salary for delivery drivers, which could reduce the number of journeys and allow for more flexible delivery times. Other issues include uniform and personal protective equipment for distributors, remuneration depending on the difficulty of the route, and ownership of means of transport. Andreas Kavkalias, the chairman of Parliament's Labor Committee, has called for the issue to be revisited. This category of workers is exposed to exploitation by employers without security in health or safety issues.

[This article was translated and summarized from its Greek original and was first published in Kathimerini's Oikonomiki printed edition]

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