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Uber Eats escapes, 4,000 riders on the warpath

The company disappears after closing in Italy: class action of the messengers

The disengagement of Uber Eats from Italy could turn out to be a Caporetto. Announced in June 2023 and implemented in July, within a few days left 4,000 riders speechless. Who now, rightly, claim to deal with the giant (or ex-giant?) of food delivery. Nidil Cgil (Nuove identità di lavoro), who, together with the other trade unions Filcams Cgil and Filt Cgil, presented to the Court of Milan a "class action to protect riders illegitimately fired last June by Uber Eats and for which the Court has already ordered the American multinational to revoke all redundancies intimated, considered anti-union".

The joint statement of the three acronyms reports that, "to date more than 4 thousand riders are still deprived of any form of sustenance, as the food delivery company has decided to cease delivery activities in the Italian market, deemed not sufficiently profitable. This choice, for workers, also determines the impossibility of receiving the compensation to which they are entitled following the judge’s order".

"It is very serious -NIdiL, Filcams and Filt Cgil emphasize- that despite the judgments, Uber Eats persists in its decision and prevents riders from connecting to the platform to work and earn what is necessary to live. To protect these workers and workers who are forcibly inoperosi because unable to access the platform, then the 'workplace', to make the performance, we decided to promote, For the first time, an innovative class action indemnification that we intend to force Uber Eats to compensate the thousands of riders he’s denying the chance to work with".

"We hope that the Court of Milan will admit this initiative -add the three trade union categories of the CGIL- so as to allow all Uber Eats riders to turn to the union to participate in the class action and benefit from the compensation that is due to them because of the unavailability of the platform to allow delivery activities".

If the class action were to go well, the total amount that Uber Eats might have to pay, in case of failure to agree, is staggering: 52.955.640 Euro, again according to the calculations of Nidil-Cgil. This is nine times the maximum monthly net pay supplement Inps for the number of workers laid off, in this case the about four thousand riders left at home last summer with an email. Figures that could be revised downwards and filed in a negotiation to close the dispute, for now only on paper.

It is since last september that Uber Eats and the other Deliveroo platform have been called to comply with trade union agreements in Italy: the two food delivery companies, In fact, since 2021 they have been the focus of a pilot investigation by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office on working conditions and safety of about 60 thousand riders. To cut staff in the event of business cessation, the company cannot get away with a simple account disconnection. A sting followed, in October, by another judgment against Deliveroo and Uber, which were rejected appeals against the INPS on the issue of contributions.

Since then, the unions have been waiting for the pec to convene a meeting. " For us unionists it is an anomalous, complex and unprecedented situation -explains Andrea Bacchin, of the Nidil-CGIL of Milan reported by Il Giorno-. Uber Eats must abide by the court’s ruling and summon us, he can’t turn a blind eye. It is also a question of respect for Italian law and for workers who have trusted in justice and have obtained a historic ruling for the world of platforms".

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EFA News - European Food Agency