Minister for Employment Byron Camilleri has weighed in on a strike currently taking place by food couriers, saying Malta should be “proud of companies that take care of their workers, not reduce their rights.”

He also suggested that they form a union, and said that his ministry is open to lending any support they might require.

“Comfort is nice, but not at the expense of the worker,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday morning.

His comments come after some 345 couriers working with Bolt Food went on strike over the weekend, protesting low pay.

The platform allegedly withdrew a scheme that saw them earn a bonus per delivery made, which was variable according to the day of the week, with weekends offering higher rates.

However, couriers now say that the platform offers a flat rate throughout the week, which has resulted in an appreciable decline in their wages.

The strike, which began on Saturday afternoon, has hit clients, several of whom took to social media over the weekend to complain of missing deliveries.

Last year, the Government enacted a law that should have brought minimum wage provisions to the sector, which previously operated in a legal grey area. However, the wage regulation order is seemingly unenforced, leaving couriers in a quandary as they work long hours – as many as 16 or 18 hours in a day – to make enough to get by.

Bolt Malta does not seem ready to budge, however, telling Times of Malta that the strike is only “by a small group of couriers” and insisting that earnings per hours have increased over the past months.

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