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Delivery workers protest union in Dublin…. ‘Must be allowed to work and live’

Dublin: Delivery workers staged a protest in Dublin city centre against substandard working conditions. Workers in the sector, including students, rallied against assaults, bike thefts, and the worst service pay conditions.

Groups of workers from O’Connell Bridge, D’Olier Street, and Westmoreland Street ended at St. Stephen’s Green, near Trinity College. Similar protests were held on July 19 and last week after a Bolivian delivery worker was stabbed in Temple Bar.

Who to complain to?

Attacks on food service workers, such as Deliveroo are common. In their experience, young people are at the forefront of these attacks. The theft of their bicycles is a daily occurrence. There is no solution, even if they complain to the Garda. Many people have left their jobs because of this. However, there is always no shortage of scapegoats, as it is an easy job. The delivery workers stated that they formed this type of protest group because their own personal issues are constantly ignored.

Even those who have been working for years are not safe.

Even those who have been working in Dublin for years are not safe. The situation is that if five or six teenagers join them, they will turn to attack the delivery workers. The workers are demanding the right to work without fear of being attacked. They are asking the government and the Gardaí to make the necessary arrangements. The workers say that violence has increased since the COVID pandemic.

Marginal wages…not enough time

For trips of less than one kilometre, delivery costs €2.90. This is very little. There is also the issue of not having enough time to work. Delivery workers on student visas face similar difficulties. They are allowed to engage in casual work for less than 20 hours a week during the college term. There is also a condition that after the college term, they should not work more than 40 hours a week. These rules were established in 2010. The students claim that they must be changed. The living conditions back then were not what they are today. Back then, working for that amount of time was sufficient to earn a living. Today, this salary is not enough even for an early meal… students say.

Will the government, gardai, and people open their eyes?

Thiago Cortes, a delivery worker, was killed in August 2020 after being hit by a vehicle in Dublin. The Juvenile Court sentenced a teenager to two years in prison for the incident. However, the workers say they do not want such incidents to occur again. The workers hope that the protest will be an eye-opener for the people, the government, and the Gardaí.

The English Language Students’ Union (ELSU), one of the organisers, has called on GAA supporters and the general public in Ireland to intervene to resolve these issues. Union leader Fiachra O’ Luain warned that if the government did not act, attacks on delivery workers would worsen.

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