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23 July, 2024
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Cop screams at Wolt drivers during protest in Cyprus

Wolt drivers say they are shortchanged, company says many factors involved in pay


Wolt drivers in the Republic of Cyprus carried on with demonstrations this week over working conditions and compensation, with one cop known as "Black Widow" getting into a shouting match with food couriers who took to the streets of the capital.

Videos on social media showed Wolt drivers in Nicosia this week holding signs and protesting against employment conditions and compensation in connection with their work with the Finnish company.

The protesters, including third nationals on student visas who deliver food for extra cash, say their pay rates have been cut down per company policy.

Wolt says there is no base salary for their drivers, with pay rates often being different due to multiple factors including time, distance, and availability

Signs during the protest called on Wolt not to block drivers' accounts, which were reportedly deactivated while other signs also read “if Wolt is a body, couriers are soul” and “We love Cyprus, we want help!”

The company has made clarification statements to Kathimerini Cyprus about the issue and the grievances of the drivers. 

During the demonstration there was added confusion after a police officer, known to refugees and asylum seekers as Black Widow, got into a shouting match with the protesters.

A video shared on social media suggested the police officer was screaming at the protesters and telling them they were not allowed to march without a permit but they claimed they had informed authorities and obtained a permit.

Posts on social media pointed to compensation per distance being reduced as well as eliminating a bonus for delivery in adverse conditions.

One person on Facebook suggested Wolt used to pay a driver €2.60 per delivery along with a €0.50 cent mileage reimbursement, but now his pay has been reduced to only €2.36 while he also needs to hand over 40% of his earnings to the fleet manager.

According to Wolt, some 80% of drivers delivering under the company logo in Cyprus have contracts with third party companies, while the remaining 20% do freelance work.

Drivers say they work hard and take risks every day but their bosses take away a large chunk of their hard-earned money.

Protesters, who were on their second day of demonstration on Wednesday, said pay cuts along with high prices made it very difficult for them to make ends meet.

But Wolt maintains there is no base salary for their drivers, with pay rates often being different due to multiple factors including time, distance, and availability.

The app used by Wolt allows customers to tip couriers through the application but people may also choose to tip in cash.

Knews has been told by a driver that tips left on the app for the driver are not always delivered to the intended recipient, but the claim could not be independently verified.

Cyprus  |  Wolt  |  food delivery  |  foreign  |  protest  |  student  |  visa  |  work  |  employment  |  police

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