TWU Helps Protect Airbnb Delivery Workers

May 21, 2018

A groundbreaking agreement between the TWU and Airbnb will see the home sharing platform actively promote package and food delivery companies that adhere to safe rates of pay and union conditions.

In return the TWU will endorse Airbnb for promoting humane labour standards.

“Airbnb’s decision to sign this agreement is a stark contrast to many gig economy platforms which are built on unravelling fair rates of pay and hard won conditions,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.

“With Airbnb we are encouraging a race to the top. Under this agreement a package or food delivery company that demonstrates it pays safe rates of pay and observes decent employment conditions will be actively promoted by Airbnb. This is a significant market opportunity for anyone prepared to adopt ethical labour practices. More Australian and international companies should follow Airbnb’s ethical and sustainable example,” he said.

The agreement will also encourage TWU members to participate in and benefit from the sharing economy. TWU members will receive a $150 payment from Airbnb if they become an active host, and for every new host Airbnb will make a matching $50 payment to the not-for-profit transport safety, training and education advocacy organisation, TEACHO, along with a once-off contribution.

Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy ANZ Brent Thomas said: “As a 21st century company, we have a responsibility to serve and strengthen the community and make sure technology is a force for good. With wages flat and the cost-of-living high, we want to empower working families by helping them earn extra income and promote good, well-paying jobs. We are proud to partner with the TWU which fights tirelessly for the rights of workers.”

Airbnb Tourism Advisory Board Member Professor Bob Carr said: “Decent wages and working conditions are the foundation of a prosperous, egalitarian society. This new agreement between the TWU and Airbnb is proof that a new, fairer course can be charted between the labour movement and the sharing economy.”

While the agreement will initially focus on food and package delivery, it will eventually expand to other parts of the transport industry. The agreement builds on similar arrangements Airbnb has in the United States with civil society organisations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and in India with the Self-Employed Women’s Association.

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