Since July, food delivery riders in the Ukrainian capital have faced a sizeable pay cut. Under Glovo’s old system of bonuses, a driver could receive a 2,200 hryvnya bonus (€76) after completing 40 deliveries in a week. But the new system set the 40 delivery bonus at 1,480 hryvnya, and drivers who aren’t ready to work under these new conditions have been asked to leave the service. This news about worsening working conditions shocked riders, prompting the first public protest by platform workers in Ukraine.
Research by the International Labour Organization shows that Ukraine ranks first in Europe in terms of how quickly people are taking up employment through digital platforms. As a rule, prominent companies in Ukraine use civil contracts – which give no protection, and only promise payment for completed work – instead of employment contracts. But Glovo’s business model stands out: in Ukraine, they don’t even sign civil contracts, which are legally required. Roughly 5,000 couriers in Ukraine are working without any form of agreement with the company. These riders have not registered themselves as individual entrepreneurs (as have, for example, Ukrainian Uber drivers).