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#RidersOnTheStorm - Riders in Berlin demand co-determination!

Published on Feb 16, 2021 Tags: , , ,
Riders in Berlin are currently experiencing some tough days. Besides the Corona pandemic, last week was marked by a cold snap and snowstorm. With black ice, sub-zero temperatures, wind and snow, our colleagues are biking for up to ten hours a day to deliver food for companies like Wolt or Lieferando. The risks that arise at the moment are not acceptable! The employers do not seem to care about the riders risking their lives on the road.

Like at the beginning of the Corona crisis, the companies present themselves as callous crisis profiteers, who don't even ask what workers have to say about their more than sketchy health and safety concepts. The "contactless delivery" is not contactless. Drivers have difficulty accessing toilets. Protective masks are not provided at all or not sufficiently. Likewise, adequate winter clothing or winter tires for the bicycles are missing.

In the companies, such an approach does not remain without consequences. Riders from several delivery services have built up self-organized groups in which members of company groups of the FAU Berlin are actively involved. The riders are networking more and more. The FAU Berlin supports them in their struggle.

The workers group Lieferando of the FAU Berlin, together with riders of the delivery service Wolt, has set up demands:

1. Proper equipment for Summer and Winter!

We demand proper equipment for winter and summer, delivered at the right time. Picking up gear at the office (hub) is time consuming and should be considered working time. We have the right to be paid for all our working time. If we are not paid to collect equipment, it should be posted to us as home.

2. Safe work conditions!

When safe working conditions cannot be ensured, operations should be stopped. No rider should be forced to work in hazardous working conditions. This includes black ice, heavy snow, strong wind/gusts, and extreme cold.

3. Workers say!

Workers and managers should decide together on which working conditions are acceptable. We demand that both parties, together, create clear and reliable criteria based on feedback from riders so that we can predict if and when a shutdown is going to apply.

4. Bad Weather? Pause operations but continue to pay!

We do not choose the weather, but we make sure to be available and ready for our shifts. We demand full payment of shifts when operations are closed due to an unsafe/unsuitable working environment. Our inability to work in these conditions is not our fault, so we should not have to pay the price! No deduction from holidays should ever occur!

5. Pay for or repair, replace work equipment!

If any of our personal equipment, including our bikes, are damaged due to working in bad weather, the company should pay to fix them.

6. Access to toilets!

We demand that the company ensures that we have guaranteed and easy access to toilets and washing facilities during shifts. This is a health and safety right and a gender equality right: we are at an increased risk of exposure to coronavirus and our female colleagues are especially affected. Lieferando has to pay restaurants to offer riders/drivers access to their toilets! Additionally Lieferando has to provide own toilets.


In order to enforce their demands, our colleagues and comrades are dependent on the public, as well as on the solidarity of the customers. In those stressful working day it is often an easy solution to order food. But if you want to support the riders these days, you can do it by cooking once or twice instead of ordering. If you want to order, then it's best to order from delivery services where riders can decide for themselves whether it's safe for them to deliver or not, for example, from Berlin delivery collectives ( or

The weather itself determines if it is possible to ride . In the Lieferando workers group of the FAU Berlin, the number of sick leaves increased dramatically during the cold days. Many other processes have also slowed down considerably. Workers' private phone batteries fail due to the cold, frozen roads slow down deliveries. Lack of winter tires and winter clothing lead to accidents and illness.

In such circumstances, we want to declare our solidarity with our colleagues on Berlin's roads. It does not seem like the management from the company is willing to find solutions for the riders. They transfer all the risks on the riders. Many of them feel unsafe. That's why more and more of them turn on solidarity and self-organization.

Stronger together

Click here to get to the FAU Berlin's English membership formThe FAU Berlin is an independent grassroots union. It is part of the German Free Workers' Union (FAU) federation. Join us, take part, get active.

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FAU Berlin is currently restructuring! This means that we are reducing some of our public activities, to focus on our strategy for the future. Throughout this time we are still providing support to our membership. If you are a member and need assistance, don't hesitate to contact your section/workplace group, or drop into our open Lokal on Fridays.

Intro and advice
Introductory seminar: FAU – How does it work? - Cancelled until further notice.
Open FAU office: Every Friday, 5:00–8:00 PM.
union help desk: always on the 2. and 4. Friday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
Please read first!
Tenant rights help desk: Cancelled until further notice.
Advice for worker and business collectives: See the advice page (german) of the union coop // federation.
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Name: Allgemeines Syndikat Berlin
IBAN: DE45 1605 0000 3703 0017 11
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