There are renewed calls for better protections for food delivery drivers after a Bangladeshi student studying for his Master's degree was killed at the weekend. Uber Eats rider Bijoy Paul died in hospital after being hit by a car in Sydney.
- Bijoy Paul had been working as a part-timer for Uber Eats for about a year and a half.
- An only son, his body is due to be cremated in Sydney.
- The TWU says he's the fourth food delivery rider to have died since September.
Uber driver, 27-year-old Bijoy Paul was taken to St. George's Hospital in Kogarah after the accident on Saturday but died a short while later.
His sister Shimul Paul told SBS Bangla that he came to Australia in 2016 and was a Master's student at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
He had been working part-time as a delivery man for Uber Eats for about a year and a half.
Shimul Paul said she did not know much about the accident. However, she said police had told her that he had crossed the red light while on a delivery when the accident happened.
“He died while he was delivering an Uber Eats order," she told SBS Bangla. "He had Uber orders in his bag on his bike - it was an order from McDonald's.”
'Utter disgrace" says union
The Transport Workers’ Union says it has notified Safe Work NSW and says Bijoy is the fourth food delivery rider known to have died in Australia since late September.
“Our hearts go out to the family of this rider," TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
"We know this will send shockwaves throughout the delivery rider community. We have notified Safe Work NSW that this should be investigated as a workplace death and they are appointing an inspector.”
“Riders are being put onto bikes with no training or protective gear, they are working our streets day and night for little pay. They have no right to insurance and when they get injured or die, it’s at the discretion of their companies as to whether they and their families get supported.
"This is an utter disgrace and the Federal Government is refusing to hold companies to account for flouting our standards and allowing workers to die without protections.”
The union cites a survey of delivery riders in September which showed average earnings after costs was just over $10 an hour. Almost 90 per cent of riders have seen their pay decrease and 70 per cent say they are struggling to pay bills and buy food.
Shadow over community
His sudden death casts a shadow of mourning over the Bangladeshi community in Sydney. Shimul Paul said she did not know when his body would be handed over. However, she hopes it would take place within a day or two.
“We are not able to send his dead body to his home country, so we will do a cremation here,” she said.
If the family plans to send the body to Bangladesh, Consul General Khandker Masudul Alam, from the Consulate General of Bangladesh in Sydney, said they would provide the necessary paperwork.
Bijoy Paul was a resident of Tangail district in Bangladesh.
He graduated from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Dhaka with a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
An only son, his parents say they are devastated by his death.
Listen to the report in Bangla with the audio-player above.
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