On 16 April 2018, an agreement establishing an SE Works Council in Delivery Hero (which owns Foodora) was signed in Berlin with the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG), the Italian Federation of Workers of Commerce, Hotels, Canteens and Services (Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Commercio, Albergo, Mensa e Servizi, FILMCAMS –CGIL)and the European EFFAT, (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism).
Scope of the initiative
The establishment of the Works Council followed the changing legal form of Delivery Hero (the owner of Foodora) from a German stock corporation (AG) to an European stock corporation (Societas Europaea, SE). In advance of this move, the company reached an agreement with its employee representatives on co-determination in the future SE. This agreement was followed by the nomination of employee representatives in the SE Supervisory Board.
After lengthy negotiations which took around half a year, an SE Works Council was established in Delivery Hero on 16 April 2018 in Berlin. The agreement foresees that each European country in which Delivery Hero is operating must have at least one worker representative within the SE Works Council. The SE Works Council is to be provided with detailed information on the company’s strategies, on investment (or divestment) plans, and in general on all plans which may impact the work organisation and the interests of the employees of the company. Furthermore, the agreement provides for the participation of employees in the Supervisory Board of the group, to equal numbers and with the same voting rights as the representatives of the shareholders. The supervisory board appoints and removes members of the management board and supervises its work. The Supervisory Board must be informed at least once every three months on the progress and developments in the corporation. In case of any events likely to have a substantial effect on the corporation, the management board is to pass on information to the supervisory board promptly (cf. Council Regulation (EC) No. 2157/2001).
The agreement was signed with the German NGG union (Food, Beverages and Catering Union), the Italian Federation of Workers of Commerce, Hotels, Canteens and Services (FILMCAMS-CGIL) and the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism (EFFAT). At the time of the signature, representatives from Austria, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, (according to media reports also from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and the Czech Republic) were present. Therefore, each of these countries will have at least one representative in the works council.
Strengths and weaknesses
The main strength of the initiative is that the establishment of the works council and the negotiations that preceded it contributed to the creation of an international network of riders who exchange practices and ideas about working conditions in the company and the sector. The exchanges have demonstrated that while working conditions vary between jurisdictions, precarious employment conditions impact all workers. Another strength of the initiative is that it facilitates direct exchanges between worker representatives and management.
The main weakness of the Works Council is that it has limited powers to change working conditions for riders. While employees must be informed on matters pertaining to the functioning of the company, they do not have the means to check whether any information is withheld. Furthermore, one annual meeting is not sufficient for significant exchanges. Compared to national works councils, the cooperation takes place at a more abstract level and is not based on actionable measures.
representation, industrial relations, social dialogue
Transportation and storage