UNI tells app company Handy to clean up their act
After a disgruntled customer took to Twitter to issue a complaint about the behaviour of American cleaning app, Handy, UNI Global Union added its voice to growing concerns about lack of responsibility for online apps.
Polly Mackenzie, who uses the Handy app for cleaning services, was informed that her cleaner was ill and hoped to simply reschedule the appointment. However, when she tried to do so, she found that the had been blocked from working for Mackenzie again. In addition to this punitive measure, the cleaner was reinstated but docked £25.
“My cleaner was ill and couldn’t make it to work. In return, Handy banned her from working for me again. When I contacted the company to get her reinstated, she was fined £25 for the previous week, which they refuse to fund,” said Polly Mackenzie, a regular Handy customer.
“Platforms turn honest labour into an anonymous commodity and turns business in to exploitation,” said Head of UNI Property Services Eddy Stam. “It’s time that businesses wake up and realise that they need to engage with their workers and unions.”
Using platforms is complicated and precarious for workers – instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for a service such as food delivery, a car journey or cleaning services. When this is the case, it’s very easy for platforms to shirk responsibility and claim that their workers are “self-employed”.