Free staffroom for Melbourne gig workers opening at Queen Vic Market
Testing Grounds at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market (QVM) will transform into a free staffroom for delivery riders between May 8 and May 14, aiming to establish a permanent gig workers hub in Melbourne’s CBD.
Funded by the City of Melbourne, the event will provide an opportunity for riders and drivers to come together and share their experiences to build a greater sense of community within the gig economy.
Free food and drink, access to amenities and information on workers’ rights will also be available throughout the week.
The initiative was proposed by delivery rider and architectural researcher Andrew Copolov in partnership with Davis Clayton from the Transport Workers Union (TWU).
The project forms part of Mr Copolov’s PhD research at Monash University which investigates how cities can be adapted to better accommodate gig workers.
“This line of work can be incredibly isolating and competitive between workers,” Mr Copolov said.
This is a way of counteracting that kind of mentality to create a shared identity.
The event follows a two-day gig workers meetup that took place in December 2022 at the City of Melbourne’s Micro-Labs space.
Mr Copolov hopes the second iteration of the project will lead to a greater understanding of gig workers’ rights and “more empathy from the public” towards delivery riders and rideshare drivers.
“We have to remember that the people who deliver our food are still human beings.”