James Yang is still angry over the road deaths of five colleagues at work who suffered the same pressure he felt as a food delivery driver.
The Chinese migrant worked for Hungry Panda but says the company booted him off the app after raising concerns about conditions.
Mr Yang earned as little as $12.50 an hour working 12-hour days.
He and fellow gig economy workers met with politicians at federal parliament on Thursday, campaigning for the same rights afforded to other workers.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese believes gig workers should be given the minimum wage and greater scope to access other base employment standards.
He urged the Morrison government to stand up to Uber and Hungry Panda in the same way it took on tech giants over the news media bargaining code.
“What we can’t have is a circumstance whereby we have two industrial relations systems,” Mr Albanese said.
“One that has pay, one that has annual leave, sick leave, one that has conditions that most Australians take for granted, and another whole section of society who are marginalised, who don’t enjoy any minimum wage.”
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said he had a great deal of sympathy for Mr Yang but he’s not going to tell him there’s an easy fix.
He said the Fair Work Commission had consistently ruled gig workers were contractors and not subject to the same conditions as employees.
Mr Porter said media code negotiations with Facebook and Google were years in the making after a consumer watchdog inquiry.
He noted the cost to business of changing the gig model and impact on consumer pricing as key complexities in regulating the sector.
Rideshare driver Malcolm McKenzie said gig workers didn’t have the same avenues to pursue unfair dismissal.
“Drivers face the possibility of termination through the app as a result of a fallacious claim against them, unsubstantiated claim against them,” he said.
Delivery driver Ashley Moreland said he faced losing his job if orders weren’t met on the company’s timeline.
“It really is time that laws caught up to the technology and that we brought some rights to this industry,” he said.
“Because I think it’s a bit of a shame that in a modern developed democracy, we have this situation of third world work.”
Australian Associated Press