Platform giant Bolt says it is “actively removing” fleet operators that are not meeting their legal obligations from its partner network, preventing them from using the popular Bolt Food app to find work.

Speaking to following a difficult week where hundreds of couriers went on strike, a Bolt representative says that the company “has always been committed to partnering only with fleets that meet their legal obligations.”

They also said that Bolt “is cooperating and will continue to cooperate with the Maltese authorities regarding ongoing investigations into food delivery courier employment conditions.”

While Bolt provides the platform technology connecting users, restaurants and couriers, the couriers are engaged by a number of fleet operators, which may have anywhere from a handful to hundreds of motorbikes and workers.

Despite repeated attempts to bring a measure of legal certainty to the sector, most notably through the enactment of new legislation mandating that workers must be paid a minimum wage, it is an open secret that abuse is rife.

The couriers involved in the strike – which received public support from the Minister for Employment – complained that the terms in their contracts are regularly not honoured by their employers, with many forced to work inhumanly long hours just to get by.

While the couriers have now returned to work, the local General Workers Union and Solidarjetà have continued to voice their support, indicated that the issue will remain on the national agenda.

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