Rider Survey

Researching delivery riders' working conditions and perceptions of trade unions in Austria


Leonard Geyer


Nicolas Prinz, Anette Scoppetta, Tamara Premrov


Austrian Trade Union Federation

Works council representatives at large delivery companies

Riders Collective

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)


Trade union membership in Austria has been declining over the last decades as it has in most European countries. This is concerning because strong trade unions have been associated with well paid jobs and good working conditions. Unionisation rates in the platform and gig economy are especially low while workers' employment and working conditions in these new and growing industries have often been described as particularly concerning.


The aim of the project was to better understand how bicycle food delivery riders in Austria work and why they decide to join trade unions or not. To this end, we will carry out an online survey asking riders about their working conditions, their knowledge and perceptions of trade unions and their expectations regarding the work of trade unions and works councils.




  • Develop and launch questionnaire in four languages (German, English, Arabic, Farsi)
  • Analyse and report results in a final project report
  • Compare the study's findings with the results of similar surveys in other countries in an article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal


The findings show that food delivery riders in Austria have generally positive views of trade unions. The main reason for riders to join a trade union are a belief that trade unions are important and to show solidarity with other riders. As reasons for not being trade union members, respondents most frequently mentioned a lack of knowledge about unions and the fact that they had never been asked to join.

Regarding working conditions, the results were mixed. While most riders enjoy their work and value the provide flexibility and autonomy regarding working times, fewer respondents were satisfied with their overall working conditions and pay. Harassment and dangerous situations at work are a significant problem with about half of all respondents experiencing humiliating behaviour and verbal abuse.

The findings and questionnaire are described in the final report (German). A more detailed analysis of working conditions by citizenship in English was published in the Research Note Happy Meals, Happy Riders? An more detialled analysis of why riders' join trade unions is currently under review.

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