We are Riders at Foodora in Turin. We are workers in the world of home deliveries. We are the backbone of the company we are working every day: Foodora, start up “leader” of a maximum expansion in the sector but forces its workers to settle just for a crumb. The Oct. 8 began our mobilization against contracts that promise simple earnings but actually are downloading all the risk of doing business on the workers. Contracts that provide for a salary only focused on piece work (payment for each delivery made) without any guarantee on the number of deliveries per shift, without any protection during illness, without time off and above all without the slightest value of time – our time – made available by the company. Co.co.co (Coordinated and continuing collaboration) contracts that frame us as self-employed workers, in a context where there is no place for autonomy, where autonomy clashes with the algorithms of an app that scans pace and amount of work, in a climate of exasperated competitiveness.
We hear managers talking about an alternative to inactivity, flexibility, a coordination that breaks down hierarchies using the app and technology, FOR US, FOR THOSE WHO WORK, THIS IS JUST TRANSLATED INTO ABSOLUTE INSECURITY, THIS IS WHAT WE CALL DIGITAL EXPLOITATION.
Incontestable directives, steady blackmail and exemplar punishments are the real made of unfulfilled promises, a start-up that creates a wall in front of the demands of its workers, rejecting all forms of productive dialogue. A start-up, like so many others, who refuses to recognize our work the dignity it deserves, that dignity without which work becomes mere exploitation. The urgensies which we hurled, go beyond our individual experience; they are affecting both young and old, students, temporary workers and unemployed tired to deal every day with a world of work from the food delivery to the call center and to the broader field of logistics, which are suffocating an entire generation. A generation deprived of its own future by the imposition of conditions of work that with the exploitation of the gray areas of the law and a very high unemployment rate, reject and trample on those rights won by workers with decades of struggle and sacrifice. It is time to say enough! It is time to give back to work and to workers the dignity they deserve. To require together what belongs to us. It’s time not to be complicits. Dynamic support, critical consumption and dignity for workers are the key words not to be defenceless spectators of a future that goes to hell. Defenceless spectators of a future that slowly they are stealing us.
It’s time to take a stand on it and initiate a reflection that allows to put aside the rhetoric of false opportunities which are flaunted with slogans, a reflection that permits giving the right name to things. Because “piece work” is exploitation even if you no longer work in the mine, but on the streets of the city riding your bike. It is exploitation even if to yell orders is the notification of an app and not the voice of a corporal. Our goal is to reflect, discuss and self-organize ourselves together to give voice to the real needs of those who every day live on their skin the real contradictions of a world of work which always holds less account of those who work. So that from a reflection could born a solidarity among workers, essential to impose from the bottom-up dismantled protections piece by piece over the past 20 years.
And you where you stand? What is your position on Foodora? Tell us! And ask yourself if you want to be an accomplice of those who, with false promises and advertising slogans, stakes a claim on a future that belongs to us.
Riders from Turin
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