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Watch: Wolt couriers react to firm's €7bn acquisition

One courier who took a break from delivering lunch in Helsinki said he hoped for an extra euro per delivery.

It appeared that most of the couriers were unaware of the company's acquisition.
Yle News

As the news of delivery firm Wolt being acquired by an American rival DoorDash made headlines on Wednesday, Yle's Helsinki bureau visited the Mall of Tripla in the Pasila district at lunchtime to get reaction from the company's couriers.

Most of the couriers were too busy to stop and chat, but a few did take a moment for brief interviews.

It appeared that most of the couriers were unaware of the company's historically-pricey acquisition, however.

For example, courier Alex Eze said it was news to him that the firm was being acquired for around seven billion euros, saying he was shocked to hear it sold for that much.

Njang Nchanji Regan responded to the news by saying "Really? Does that affect us, the workers?"

"That amount is quite huge; it means that there's a lot of money in Wolt. I just hope for the [best]," he added.

Employees or entrepreneurs?

The company has faced pressure from authorities over the status of the couriers that it pays to deliver meals and other items. At the beginning of this month, the occupational safety and health authority of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland (Avi) ruled that the couriers should be considered employees of the company, not entrepreneurs, as the company considers them to be.

Such a change would force the company to make major adjustments to current so-called zero-hour arrangements, which enables couriers to choose when they want to work. It would also legally compel the company to provide the dispatchers with various employee benefits, like paid vacations.

Wolt said it planned to appeal the case to the Administrative Court.

Elaborating on his reaction to the acquisition, courier Eze said he earns four euros per delivery on weekdays.

"We hope they can increase it to five euros, because we need to fix our cars, fuel is very expensive and everything is quite expensive, as we all know, in Finland," Regan said.

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