Delivery Hero: Federal politicians criticize poor working conditions

Delivery Hero CEO Niklas Östberg in front of the corporate logo.

Delivery Hero CEO Niklas Östberg in front of the corporate logo.


The former Berlin startup Delivery Hero has not yet been listed on the German leading index Dax for four months, but is already provoking the anger of federal politicians.

After research by on the working conditions at the delivery service and the statement by CEO Niklas Östberg that he is not a fan of collectively agreed wages, members of the Bundestag from various parties also respond. MPs from the CDU, the Greens and the Left criticize for the poor working conditions, lack of collectively agreed wages and the low level of participation of drivers on platforms such as Delivery Hero.

Former employees and trade unionists of the DAX group have told that the company’s board of directors absolutely wanted to prevent the establishment of works councils in Germany. The employees should have declared employee representatives – in the end with success.

“Labor has its price”

“Mr. Östberg misunderstood something. Wage coverage is not a dessert that you order from the pizza service because you are a “fan”. Labor has its price. I also have to pay in the restaurant! ”Tweeted the member of the Bundestag Fabio De Masi in response to’s research. De Masi is deputy chairman of the Left Party in the Bundestag and chairman of the Wirecard investigation committee.

“Start-up culture must not be Manchester capitalism with table football. Codetermination and collective bargaining agreements strengthen the loyalty of employees in fast-moving markets, ”he said afterwards to

“Co-determination is not a nice to have”

De Masi’s colleague from the committee of inquiry, Danyal Bayaz (Greens), agrees. “Employee participation is not a ‘nice to have’, but a pillar of our social market economy”. One can talk about whether co-determination in a digital economy and startup world needs new forms, but the voice of employees is also relevant for this, says Bayaz. Founders of larger companies like Delivery Hero in particular should stop pretending that their employees are their opponents, he adds.

Deutsche Börse woke up particularly with regard to the Wirecard scandal. “Qualitative criteria for inclusion in the DAX are of central importance. For me, collective bargaining and sustainability criteria are part of it, ”says Bayaz.

CDU man Tankred Schipanski also sees deficits in dealing with platforms such as Delivery Hero with their employees. Schipanski is the spokesman for his group for Digital Agenda. “The working conditions of the self-employed at platforms are sometimes difficult. Therefore, the approach of wanting to make improvements here is fundamentally correct, ”says Schipanski.

The Member of the Union is addressing the key plan “New work fair” by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil and Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht. With their initiative, the two social democrats want to ensure, for example, that self-employed couriers can organize themselves at the platforms in order to better negotiate their salaries and working conditions with their superiors. Also conceivable: a participation of companies like Delivery Hero in the contribution payments for the driver’s pension. So far, the key points plan is “only” a move by the two ministers, which still has to be widely discussed in the Bundestag and the Federal Cabinet.

There is still a lot to talk about

CDU man Schipanski also reports a need for discussion. “We have to pay attention to the accuracy of the target in the concrete form of the rules. Protection is only needed for those who work in an employee-like employment relationship and where social standards are deliberately undermined, ”says Schipanski.

“The key points recently presented by Mr. Heil and Mrs. Lambrecht do not achieve the necessary differentiation, especially with regard to this accuracy. We will therefore be very critical of the project in Parliament, ”he announced.

In any case, the dispute in the grand coalition makes one thing clear: The working conditions at platforms like Delivery Hero are an issue in the Federal Government and in the Bundestag. There is also broad consensus that there is room for improvement. So far, however, it is completely open whether these suggestions will only apply to permanent employees and how they should be implemented. So there will be exciting debates MEPs and ministers will have in the coming weeks.


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