Few areas of activity benefited from the corona period in a way that allowed them to make a leap in their activity precisely during an economic crisis. One of these areas is the food delivery sector, which is controlled by two companies that are part of international groups: Walt and Let Bite.
Thanks to the restrictions imposed due to the corona crisis, these two companies have become a major artery for food consumption from restaurants for a growing public in Israel. Thus, under the auspices of the plague, they expanded their geographical spread and manpower situation, and increased revenues. But under the auspices of the crisis and the need to meet the huge demand for their services, sometimes the conditions of the workers were left behind, and now it may be in their backyard.
After the criticism that the competitor in the field of food deliveries Walt received about her business model, and the fact that she does not grant the full social rights that employees in Israel deserve to her employees, it turns out that the Israeli actress Tan Biss, who became part of an international corporation two years ago. .
After long months of attempts to incorporate that were halted by Tan Biss, last weekend the Histadrut approached the company with a document seeking to recognize the association as a representative organization of its employees. It managed to attach about 700 of the 1,400 emissaries that the company employs to establish a representative committee. According to the Histadrut, no response has yet been received regarding holding talks or conducting negotiations regarding the workers’ demands.
Unlike a competitor in the field of food delivery Walt, which treats its employees as “partners” and does not provide them with social conditions that employees in Israel are entitled to by law, Tan Biss has always stated that all its employees are employed as employees. In recent months, we have reported here a class action lawsuit filed in Israel against Walt, which deals with exactly this gap in the amount of NIS 24 million.
However, it now turns out that in recent months, Tan Biss has begun to employ non-employed workers on a limited basis, through an outside supplier, presumably in parallel with an increase in demand for food deliveries against the backdrop of corona restrictions. Some see this as a precedent that is more reminiscent of the employment model of the competitor from Finland – Walt.
Internal correspondence in the WhatsApp groups of employees that reached Globes shows that in recent months, in parallel with Urine Bite has expanded its shipping operations due to the effects of the Corona – the company first began hiring non-employees, ie those employed by an external distributor. In the same correspondence, the director of the Petah Tikva area confirmed to the company in early July that “the company is assisted in some cities, by an external distributor,” which he says takes place “only during rush hour and to a negligible extent.”
Among the workers, the impression is created that this is a move that is taking place as an attempt to stop the workers’ organization. Even if in practice it is only a reinforcement of the workforce due to an increase in demand due to the tightening of restrictions on the public, for the employees it is a dangerous precedent reminiscent of the employment model of the competing company. The Workers’ Committee has begun issuing statements that their interpretation of an external distributor expression is the work of a contractor, and that they will not agree to become such.
“This is not a negligible scope, we want to weaken all of us,” the workers’ committee wrote, adding: “The plan to make us all contractor workers is already in full swing, and its goal is clear: we will no longer be Let Bis-Scober workers, we will be workers of manpower companies. “Without conditions, without rights, and without the ability to improve our conditions in the future.” Along with these allegations, the committee began to address personal calls to Tan Biss’ co-CEO, Tomer Pepper: “The CEO must go home.”
Evidence: Management tried to disrupt the association
At the same time, “Globes” received complaints from employees of the Tan Bis-Scooter emissary company, which indicate that the management made attempts to disrupt the incorporation of its emissaries, including attempts to dismiss the committee’s chairman, Steiner.
Steiner, 33, has been a courier for the company for a year and a half, in fact shortly after entering the food delivery industry following the acquisition of it by the Dutch company Takeaway.com from founder Tamir Carmel. This acquisition made it part of an international concern, following which it first entered the service of deliveries from restaurants independently. In a conversation with “Globes” he says today: “The corona has made the emissaries the heroes of the hour. What is less talked about is the risk we absorb – almost no emissary who has not had an accident, including me. But today there is no extended insurance for the emissaries sector, only Social Security. I know emissaries who have lost their ability to work, and that the company let them sign a letter of resignation. “
Steiner has been trying for months to form a committee to represent the company, but he claims his attempts have been halted by its executives. He said: “Team leaders have tried to persuade emissaries to cancel their signature to the Histadrut, hinting that the management of the international company will not like it, even though there are committees in other countries where the group operates.”
Over the past few weeks, Batan Biss emissaries have shared difficulties they have encountered during their work as emissaries, in order to encourage more employees to join the committee. For example, one of the workers describes that during a mission he performed a minibus collided with him, and he was injured and dislocated the patella of the knee and shoulder. “I have no one to turn to,” the same employee wrote, “I tried, I did not get an answer. I could not get coupons for the Social Security bureaucracy to fund the treatment expenses. It was time we had a sympathetic ear,” the same employee wrote, declaring that he had joined the union.
Another employee who posted his picture and details describes that he is 43 years old, and has been employed for over a year by Batan Biss: “If there is one thing that bothers me is the attitude towards us employees, why should we feel type B, that all management sit in its offices and treat us as transparent, I expect attitude human”.
Already about four months ago, Tan Biss employees began to organize under a committee, but these attempts, Steiner claims, were halted. In a post posted on the committee’s Facebook page in July, the committee claimed that there were team leaders who put pressure on their employees against the association. Steiner confirms things in a conversation with “Globes”.
Rom emphasizes that the committee’s demands do not relate to wage increases, but to basic conditions for those who have become vital workers due to the consequences of the corona crisis and the closure imposed in Israel. Among the demands of the committee now established under the Histadrut from the company: courier insurance (as opposed to the standard social security payment to which they are currently entitled), the inclusion of premiums in the base salary (so that they affect social security provisions), Saturday pay according to real wages, arrangement of delivery distances Minimum work per week.
Enjoyed relative industrial quiet
This explosion between the management of Tan Biss and its couriers takes place after a long period in which Tan Biss enjoyed relatively industrial quiet, when the arrows of the restaurants and also the criticism of the attitude towards the employees, were diverted to competitor Walt.
Since Walt’s entry into Israel in 2018, shortly after Urine Bite was acquired by the Dutch company Takeaway.com, shipping activity in Israel has changed from end to end. Until then, Tan Biss’ customers were mainly companies in a wide range of fields that gave their employees a benefit in the form of Tan Bite cards. Simultaneously with the penetration of Walt into Israel, the activity of Ten Biss also expanded to couriers on two-wheeled vehicles that try to deliver deliveries in a much shorter period of time than was previously accepted – half an hour.
Walt’s model, like other Gig Economy – based models in the world, such as the Uber and Lift taxi services apps, has been widely criticized around the world. In contrast, Tan Biss was careful to provide its employees with conditions of an employee. In doing so, the company has managed to position itself as an alternative in terms of these conditions.
About a week ago, Walt began a pilot as part of which it implemented a change in its algorithm, which should improve its performance and shorten delivery times and streamline routes on the way to them. This change has already drawn criticism from emissaries in the company, with Walt waiting for the end of the pilot, which is based on a number of parameters, including the emissaries’ satisfaction, to decide whether to continue the change, or to shelve it.
In interviews given to “Globes” in the last six months by both Walt CEO Emery Galai and CEO Tan Biss Nurit Shaked, it appears that these two activities of delivering food from restaurants to the customer’s home in Israel are still not profitable. In Walt it is the main activity, Batan Biss is still a secondary activity.
In any case, even if they are not yet profitable, as these companies have strengthened and entered the heart of the consensus in Israel, they will be required to re-examine the conduct. They will be increasingly exposed to attention outside the world of restaurants, including those from the labor market, and perhaps even from regulators. That is, the success of these companies that made a leap forward in the Corona period may challenge them in areas that to date have managed to keep under the radar, including labor relations.
Matan Biss responded: “The issue concerns the employees of our shipping company, who are employed in direct employment according to the policy dictated by the company’s management in the Netherlands. Our employees are the heart of the company and contribute to its success and we maintain a direct communication channel. The company respects the law. Or not joining a workers’ organization is a personal choice of the employee and we will respect it. ”
The association of Let Bite
700 – The number of emissaries that the Histadrut managed to sign
1,400 – The number of apostles employed by Natan Biss
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