Foodora workers

As recently as last year, the gig economy’s “independent contractor” business model seemed like an unstoppable force.

It started with Uber, but soon spread to food delivery and before long was entering new sectors, such as freight, logistics and healthcare. The model had reached hero status in the business community. It was the neoliberal panacea, a cure for all their ills. Sham gig economy contracting provided the perfect business solution to all those pesky costs, such as minimum wage, superannuation and workers’ compensation.

Food delivery giant Foodora is leaving Australia owing $28.3 million in debts to workers and small business, plus more in unpaid taxes.

This huge debt is small change for Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, which is worth $14.7 billion. Based in Germany, Delivery Hero trades in 40 countries and is attempting to further expand its global reach.

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