With more people choosing to stay at home amid the rising fear of the fast-spreading COVID-19, delivery apps are seeing a surge in the number of daily orders. But at the same time, many delivery persons are increasingly worried, as food deliveries, in particular, often require direct contact with customers. “It will be a road to disaster if delivery persons get infected with the coronavirus,” an anonymous delivery person said in the open chatroom of a labor union on mobile messenger KakaoTalk.
Similar concerns and also worries about their own health were shared among the delivery persons who visit doorsteps to hand over ordered goods. Reflecting the concerns, Rider Union issued a statement calling on all delivery service providers to take steps to ensure the safety of their workforce and protect their labor rights. “All delivery service providers should take measures so that workers can deliver goods to the customers without contacting them,” the statement read.
“They should inform customers and their clients that the delivery will be done without contact, and make sure all orders are prepaid.” The labor union also called for the companies to provide face masks and hand sanitizers, and guarantee paid leaves for those quarantined. “We find it rewarding to do our work by delivering orders for people who find it hard to go outside, and also for the struggling shopkeepers. Therefore, we call for the government, delivery platforms, and businesses to come up with safety measures for delivery workers.” Aware of the gravity of the epidemic, some delivery service companies and delivery app platforms are providing their staff with protective gear and presenting preventive guidelines.
Source: The Korea Herald