This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
FOUR major gig economy firms in Milan have been ordered to employ 60,000 delivery riders and pay €733 million (£635m) in fines in a huge victory for workers’ rights.
The decision follows last Friday’s landmark Uber ruling in the British Supreme Court that found drivers for the company were workers and not self-employed.
Authorities in Italy’s largest city gave Deliveroo, UberEats, JustEat and Foodhino-Glovo 90 days to comply with their order.
Deputy Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano said: “The vast majority of these riders are employed with occasional self-employment contracts ... but it emerged without a shadow of a doubt that they are fully included in the organisation of the company.”
Ms Siciliano also said an IT platform that managed the workers, ranking them according to performance, forced them to labour like slaves without basic employment rights.
“This system actually forces the rider to accept all orders in order not to be demoted in the ranking and get less work,” she said. “This is the reason why it is impossible to take holidays or sick leave.”
Prosecutor Francesco Greco declared that the ruling meant “it is no longer the time to say that they are slaves. It’s time to say that they are citizens.”
The order also places obligations to provide safe bicycles, accident compensation and training to the riders.
JustEat said it was launching an internal investigation into its workers’ safety and said it had made changes to its business model to “introduce a safer, more controlled and direct system with our workers — as employees.”
But UberEats, Deliveroo Italy and Foodhino-Glovo said they did not agree with the order.
“The online food delivery is an industry that operates in full compliance with the rules and is able to guarantee an essential service,” they said.
A worldwide boom in food delivery because of lockdowns imposed by coronavirus has put the spotlight on the plight of couriers worldwide who often lack proper employment rights.
The European Commission launched a public consultation on the rights of gig economy workers on Wednesday. The standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress also began consideration of a draft law strengthening legal protections for workers in “flexible” employment last month following protests over the mistreatment of gig economy workers.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.