Church members stand with food delivery riders
Leichardt Uniting Church members David Barrow and Raúl Sugunananthan attended a vigil held outside Sydney’s Uber office for the five food delivery riders who have died on Sydney’s roads in the last two months.
The riders included Xiaojun Chen, Dede Fredy, Chow Khai Shien, Bijoy Paul, and an as yet unnamed fifth rider.
The Uniting Church members who attended the vigil said that their faith motivated them to express solidarity with the marginalised.
“I went because the Australian government is leaving delivery workers behind,” Mr Sugunananthan said.
“As a son of migrants, I know that I am not far removed from being in this precarious position. As a person of faith, I am called to love my neighbour and that means standing up for the marginalised.”
Unions and churches have raised concerns in recent months for the welfare of ‘gig economy’ workers.
A recent NSW government report found that these workers receive limited safety advice, and may suffer abuse and fear for reporting incidents that happen during the course of their work.
Michael Kaine, the national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that, “Riders are being put onto bikes with no training or protective gear, they are working our streets day and night for little pay.”
Unlike other providers, Uber offers insurance to its workers, including payments for when they are unable to work and a lump sum in the event of a death.