Transform! europe supports the Assembly of delivery workers, unionists and activists from all over Europe to organize and fight for decent working conditions.
Delivroo, Uber Eats or Foodora bicycle delivery workers are self-employed. Despite this status, they are totally dependent upon the digital platforms for which we work. This is an employed system in disguise which enables the platform companies to bypass labour regulations: they don’t have a minimum salary, paid holidays or insurance…
Why a European meeting?
In recent years, struggles have taken place many cities and countries around Europe. These multiple initiatives have until now been relatively isolated from each other and have pushed to organize this European assembly of platform bike drivers. The objectives are to share methods of struggle and define common strategies for better working conditions: creation of a European collective of drivers, perfection of our communication tools, planning of transnational actions, platforms of common demands…
Uberization, “gig economy”, what is it?
The “gig economy” is the economic model of digital platforms. This system individualises the working relationship as orders are received via an algorithm on one’s telephone and as the pay is received per task rather than as an hourly wage.
The “gig economy” raises concerns about the quality of future jobs: will our societies follow the model of Uber?. To the extent that they are self-employed, platform workers are deprived of the core of fundamental rights that protect workers, such as trade union rights, protections against undue disruption of the employment relationship, legislation on working time and working conditions or protections against harassment and discrimination.
However, very often, they are “economically dependent” on platforms: they derive most or all of their income from this activity and the platform companies exercise significant control over their work, via the rating system, but also and above all because they can decide to exclude a member, in other words to break the contract, by disconnecting this worker for no apparent reason. The worker can thus find him or herself deprived of their job without benefiting from the protections concerning dismissal, since s/he is not an employee with a formal contract.
Further, in terms of health and safety at work, much of the work is carried out outside the institutionalised framework of productive organisations. As a result, it largely escapes health and safety considerations and risk management protocols – there is a high risk of road accidents, a situation which is exacerbated by the lack of insurance.
Today, VTC drivers, bicycle drivers, teachers or personal services are examples of current professions which are strongly affected by the transition from the status of employee to that of platform worker. Tomorrow, more and more jobs might become “uberised”, gradually leading to the disappearance of formal employment relationships and the rights attached to them. Faced with this challenge, the bicycle drivers of these platforms, have decided to resist and organize themselves to guarantee their fundamental rights and those of all platform workers.
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