Groceries delivered in minutes. Punches thrown in seconds. Salaries paid after months.
I am an international DJ from Romania. I came to the Netherlands to find better working conditions. I came here with a lot of passion and hope that I could build my DJ career. But working at Flink has almost destroyed my passion and my opportunities.
I started working at Flink in November for seven months. In those seven months every week something bad happened. People fighting inside the hub. People fighting me. I broke my phone and glasses. I have been physically and mentally abused. I have been manipulated. I have lost my home, my passion and connection with my family. All this I have suffered while not even being paid by Flink.
You can donate for him to NL18 INGB 0636 6838 34 under the name Sjerp van Wouden and mention “Flink Homeless”.
“It was like Fight Club”
It was like Fight Club at the hub. Everyone was fighting including riders and shift leaders. I was assaulted by one of the self-proclaimed shift leaders. The aggressor got fired for that and they gave me three weeks of paid vacation leave.
Another time I just wanted to have a discussion with the manager because there was a misunderstanding. Some guy was trying to intimidate me because of that. He stood very close to me after I respectfully asked him to leave me alone, because this matter was outside of his role at the company. I told him “Please stop talking to me, I have asked several times you need to stop, I consider it harassment.” He tried to fight me anyways. Seven other guys tried to stop him. He was screaming, he was punching the walls, he tried to hit me. All because I tried to stand up for myself and have a discussion with the manager.
Broken promises, broken equipment, broken connections
Flink is riddled with hollow and empty promises. I signed a contract for 32 to 40 hours per week for one year, but they were only giving me 24. I keep missing more than 8 hours of pay per week, a whole working day! That is of course if they ever pay me on time. They are contractually obligated to pay us every Friday. This almost never happens. They always give us some stupid excuse like how they just forgot to put my hours in the system. Because they can’t put in the hours correctly.
If I don’t show up to work two days in a row, I’ll get fired. But Flink can somehow get away with not paying for three weeks, one month, two months. Even after the fighting incident they didn’t pay me on time. The money should have arrived every Friday. I was barely able to feed myself for three weeks!
I live in a hostel, so every week is a question whether I’ll have shelter or not. This last several weeks. Flink fails to deliver on the simplest agreements. Flink promised all workers a bonus, which in true Flink fashion wasn’t paid on time. I only got 94 euros, while I should have at least gotten 300 for all the work I’ve done.
They promised us phone holders, which is the most standard of equipment. They never give you one, we are forced to deliver without phone holders. Which leads to getting tickets that they never pay. I have broken my phone during work, I have broken my glasses. I cannot get medical insurance because I don’t have an address, I cannot even get a transfer after being beaten in two different hubs in Utrecht.
Eventually, they transferred me to Nijmegen, I found a room there. Immediately I was asked to come back to Utrecht, they offered a contract where they would raise my pay if I worked in Utrecht. I signed the paper, but they never gave me the raise. I still have to get paid thousands of euros in train tickets.
Flink mismanagement has also broken my connections. I had an important event as a DJ in Romania. I was flown out on Thursday, expecting money on Friday. As expected, that money never came. I was stuck in a foreign country, with no money, no phone data, it was humiliating. This event was important for my career, luckily, I still managed to make some connections, despite Flink’s failures.
My family connections have also been broken. They think I am here to steal, while I have been working hard. They have renounced me because I never get paid on time.
That event was my breaking point. I used to be a calm person. But all these experiences at Flink have made me very angry. I called them in a moment of frustration at the event, I said some crazy things that got me fired. After all the unpaid labor, just like that. Flink broke me.
I came to this country with a passion and hope. Because of how I was treated, because I got fucked over for my hard work, that passion is destroyed. I could have had a mental breakdown. I have told my manager multiple times “Maybe I want to kill myself because I’m done working for nothing.” Maybe other people are going through the same things, and thinking the same thoughts. All because of the utter incompetence at Flink.
I don’t want to destroy working places for people who need work. But Flink needs to change their policies, their regulations. They need to keep their promises. I am going to court with them to demand repayment. To demand that they start treating other workers with empathy.
Do you have suicidal thoughts? Contact 113 Suicide Prevention through 113.nl or by phone through 0800-0113.