Couriers working with Bolt food, either as independent contractors or as agency employees, will not be earning more money per delivery, a company spokesperson has said.

Bolt food couriers striked two weeks ago to protest against their poor pay and decreasing earnings.

As a direct reaction to the action, a Bolt spokesperson had said the company is “working towards optimising the pricing” and that this should have a positive impact on courier earnings within the next few days.

But, contacted on Tuesday, a Bolt spokesperson said the company does not currently plan to change the earnings formula.

Bolt pays a €2.60 basic delivery fee and a further fee of 40c per kilometre driven. Bonuses are also sometimes given. However, these are rarely more than €1 and usually hover around 50c.

Although the pay structure has not changed, couriers can now pick up several orders at once, making it possible to complete more deliveries in less time, the Bolt spokesperson said.

Bolt does not directly hire couriers. Instead, they subcontract the job, either to independent contractors or, as is the case for the majority of drivers, by obtaining them through employment agencies.

However, since the majority of third-country nationals cannot be self-employed under law, the agencies that employ them skim off some 40 per cent of courier earnings, multiple sources said.

A sense of resignation

A Bolt courier, who preferred to remain unnamed, expressed resignation to the news that earnings will not increase, saying there is nothing to do but to keep doing his job.

A former courier said the decision to keep the existing earnings structure is not surprising. Similar promises were made in the past when couriers complained of low pay but were never followed through, they said.

Last year, the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations carried out a study that confirmed couriers were working in dire conditions, were not paid enough and did not have enough time to rest.

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