Wolt delivery people split over court ruling that may make them employees

Until now, Wolt deliverers have not been considered employees of the company and did not get rights like vacation days and insurance.

 Wolt in Jerusalem (photo credit: PR)
Wolt in Jerusalem
(photo credit: PR)

The labor court approved a class action on Wednesday that could make Wolt delivery people employees of the company, meaning the matter will go to trial, drawing mixed reactions from the delivery people themselves.

Wolt announced that it would be appealing the decision, and the couriers are split in their opinions of the decision.

"I think it can be a blessed step," said one delivery man from Tel Aviv. He admitted that he has another job, and the independence was convenient for him, but ultimately, Wolt is his main source of income.

Until now, Wolt delivery people had to turn to external companies for insurance and pension, and in many cases, these companies made a huge profit from them.

The delivery man told Walla that beyond basic social conditions, they would be getting managers and a human port of call for problems if the courts ruled in favor of the motion, saying that this could make the job more comfortable and organized.

"Right now, the application drives you crazy with no geographic logic, and many times, the deadline it gives you is in no way realistic," he said. "This is what leads to deliveries being held up and complaints from the customers."

 Wolt in Jerusalem (credit: PR) Wolt in Jerusalem (credit: PR)

The delivery man told Walla that he thinks this is why delivery people do things like riding bikes and motorcycles on the sidewalk and running red lights.

But another delivery man from Ramat Gan disagrees.

"It's a disaster," he said. "Wolt just wanted to remove the delivery fee. Now we'll have to work shifts. We can forget about working whenever we want and for however long we want.

"If I wanted to be an employee, I would work for 10bis. I didn't ask for this from anyone, I just want to be left alone." 10bis (anglicization of the Hebrew "give me a bite") was the main such delivery company in Israel until Wolt entered the market.

"If I wanted to be an employee, I would work for 10bis. I didn't ask for this from anyone, I just want to be left alone."

Wolt delivery man

An important decision?

Dr. Lilach Lori, a senior lecturer at the labor studies major in Tel Aviv University said this was one of the "most important decisions in Israel and the world."

"The position of this platform's economy is the question that is being discussed right now," she said. "In the world, it's Uber, but here, it's Wolt."

Lori explained that considering delivery people as employees of Wolt will give them the right to vacation and sick days, travel expenses, pension insurance and insurance in the face of disability as well as for unemployment with National Insurance (Bituach Leumi).

In response to the concerns raised by the delivery people who are against the change, Lori said that "probably, Wolt will lower salaries because this will cost them more, and young people, who aren't thinking in the long term, won't want that."