Wolt Claims to be Apolitical but its Actions Suggest Otherwise

Wolt is funnelling money to Israeli businesses and menacing anyone who disagrees.


The Left Berlin interviewed an employee at Wolt about the company’s support of Israel. The employee wishes to remain anonymous.

What happened at Wolt that made you want to speak out?

Israel is one of the biggest markets for Wolt, I think it is the third biggest market. After the 7th of October and everything that happened in Gaza, so around I think November, I heard from colleagues that there were some problems on Slack, like our communication platform regarding this incident, regarding the 7th of October. And that the CEO was involved in that discussion. And the people who told me were pretty disappointed. They are for Palestine and they were disappointed by the reaction of the CEO. So I was really interested in what was happening. One of them sent me the the link of the conversation. So I went there and checked. Apparently in Israel, some colleagues there, some employees involved, they created a link to support the Israeli small businesses, merchants, restaurants and so on, where anyone around the world can go to that link and make a normal purchase. And instead of just sending donations, they will make a normal purchase. So the people there, they make this food and they will donate it.

So when I read everything, I was like yeah, okay. Whatever they can do whatever they want to support anyone. Although no one there needs any support – we will get to that point. So I read something like there was a deleted comment in the conversation. Under this deleted comment, there were a lot of emojis. We use a lot of emojis in Slack and Wolt is famous for using emojis, but all the emojis were very highly disrespectful. Like discussing everything using the middle finger, the shit, and the comments under that deleted comment we’re amazingly bad language. And then there’s the comment from the CEO himself commenting on that comment that work is not a place for discussing politics. And the deleted one was made by someone whose name is Mohammed.

The CEO said go back to work, targeting Mohammed directly. I don’t know where Mohammed works. I don’t know which country he’s in. So Mohammed commented on the CEO’s comment again saying okay, I’m sorry for the political comment. But can we please make the same initiative for the people in Gaza? Then the CEO commented again, repeating his words, I’m telling you, is not the place nor the time to discuss this subject. Go back to work. So first thing came to my mind was, why it is the time and place for Israelis to do such an initiative, but not for other people? So I started to tell everyone around me because there are a lot of pro-Palestinian people working there.

And just a couple of days after that, the management in Finland was bombarded with emails. Because they immediately tried to do something and it was disgusting what they did. They shut down any one who is pro-Palestinian and just let all the pro-Israelis talk in the public channels to everyone and post whatever they want. At the same time deleting anything else that is pro-Palestinian. At first of all, they sent an email apologizing for what happened. And all of the emails they sent, they never mentioned what Mohammed said. What was the deleted comment? I couldn’t find the deleted comment and they didn’t mention what it is. They just said it’s political. But what Mohamed said, no one knows.

They also don’t want to stop this initiative, and at the same time, they don’t want to create a new initiative for Palestine at the moment. And they said, we’re going to find a solution. Just wait. So it took them around a week or two. I don’t remember exactly, but they came up with the solution or what they thought was a solution. What is the solution? The solution was that they going to donate, with DoorDash, $1 million to both parties. To both sides. The Israeli and the Palestinian. But still not creating this initiative to donate for Gaza.

But they never said anything or explained how these donations are going to be sent, through which kind of organization. So the only way that they’re going to send donations is that they’re going to send it to Israel. So that will never reach Gaza whatsoever. And then after that, no one talked about this again. And whatever you say, whatever you send them, they answer we are sorry. We’re working to have better communications. The only thing they did is to delete the emojis. The hurtful emojis under Mohammed’s comment. This is everything they did. 

Does this fit with your experience at the company?

The management, they’re trying to to avoid any political discussion whatsoever. Like before the 7th of October. So nothing was political in any kind of communications inside the company. I will give it to them. Like in this case, they were really professional, until this happened. After this happened, they showed exactly that they are pro-Israeli. But at the same time, while trying their best to keep it apolitical. They keep sending apologies to everyone. We are sorry, we know we are not doing enough, please bear with us, it’s complicated, we don’t know what to do right now, we didn’t face these kind of situations before, etc. So they always have this type of communication. So they tried to not show that they are political in any way.

But supporting Israel was an exception to this?

Yeah. And they are sharing, and they are proud of it, how many millions they collected and so on. I went back to the same channel, to the same discussion. And I saw how much they are proud of, the millions they are collecting. Especially coming back to the subject where I told you that they don’t even need any donations in Israel. The market in Israel is still booming. It’s still going up. It’s like nothing is happening. This is what’s scary. The market in Israel is still doing great. That’s why it’s like, why all these donations? They don’t even need any donations! They are still working. People are still buying. Number are still going higher and higher every day. 

Why do you feel this Israel initiative wasn’t justified?

The point is: Why are we allowing such an initiative to happen and trying everything to prevent the same initiative to happen for Palestinians? Like why these double standards? Like you are not political, okay, I’ll give it to you, but why then are you fighting against any initiative to help the other side.

And how does the initiative in Israel work?

The ones who created the initiative were asking people to take the link and share it with their family and friends. This is how they share the link. It’s not something like when you go online, you can see that Wolt stands with Ukraine and these kind of things. So you give businesses in Israel the money and the businesses just take it as normal business. But they make purchases and they give it to people. So you’re donating to people through the businesses. 

They [Wolt] are open with it. They’re doing it in front of everyone. But as I said, the point is this reaction towards any request to do something for the other side. And the solution they came up with, which is actually disappointing and pathetic.

We’re talking months after the 7th of October, and they are doing really good. So why do they need donations? Why? They’re still doing good. They are showing on TV that it’s a disaster. But everything is still going normally. 

How do others feel about the situation?

When we talk, we are highly disappointed. No one likes the decision they came up with. Everyone criticizes them, but no one publicly could do anything. Like, even the ones who contacted the management, they never wrote anything publicly on Slack. Because every one of us is just afraid that we’re going to lose our jobs. And especially after merging with DoorDash. Then it became very easy for you to be laid off. Because the first layoff, the big one happened exactly after merging. And it came actually from DoorDash, that decision. And 1,500 employees only in Wolt, not DoorDash, were laid off. From all of Wolt worldwide, of course, not only in Germany, but still it’s a big number. In Berlin alone, 15 people were laid off. And the layoffs were not just for anyone. Just like three of the 15 were maybe in their probation, where you can say like, okay, it’s probation, maybe the company don’t need that, or they didn’t reach any agreement, but the rest, around 12 of them were from the best employees. People who helped the company to grow in Germany. They are highly competent. They have great experience. They did a lot. And all of them surprisingly.

Why are people worried for their jobs?

Until now, they have mentioned the layoffs only once. One general meeting someone wrote this anonymous question – I still don’t know if it’s anonymous, to be honest – but someone wrote something about why we don’t have a Betriebsrat (workers council). And they just went crazy and called in the general manager immediately. And then in the meeting she took like 15 minutes just to explain how amazing we are doing and we don’t need Betriebsrat. How safe the employees are, and then sending emails and like talking again in different meetings. They’re trying really hard to show people like, no, no, no, we don’t need it. You are really safe here, while at the same time this was happening, the whole discussion about the Betriebsrat we had no HR. There were zero HR employees. I think we at the time we had only three employees and all of them were on vacation at the same time. So there is no one to solve your problem. Anything you need it has to go to Finland. And from Finland they don’t see anything in front of them. For them, everything is just numbers. They’re just requests coming from strange people. They don’t know even the pictures.


Here is one of the websites through which people could donate food to Israelis. You can read more about Wolt’s initiative in Israel here.