In view of the growth, precarious characteristics and the absence of any type of social protection for workers subordinate to digital platforms, the federal government set up a Working Group (GT) composed of representatives from the government, employers and workers to raise proposals that will subsidize specific legislation to regulate this type of work.
Since the first meetings of the GT, representatives of app workers have been dialoguing and finding consensus around proposals not only aimed at a minimum value for the working day, but also in relation to algorithmic data transparency and rules unilaterally imposed by companies .
At the penultimate meeting, held in July, the workers’ bench – made up of directors of official and unofficial unions, members of associations and local leaders – managed to pressure companies to make a commitment to present lists with labor costs, allowing, in this way, to quantify the minimum that every worker should earn given the general costs that exist with carrying out the work.
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It turns out that at the last meeting of the GT, on Tuesday, August 29, representatives of the companies that own digital platforms presented proposals considered by worker representatives as “outdated” – containing data that do not match the precarious reality of these workers and that downgrade their budgets and working conditions.
On its official website, the Brazilian Federation of Professional Motorcyclists (Febramoto) states that if there is no understanding or counter-proposal from company representatives, there will be a national strike involving all deliveries made through digital applications: “The associations that represent companies of applications are joking and not showing an ounce of concern for the difficulties and needs that delivery people are going through. It’s been 120 trading days so far, with no progress”.
The company representatives are divided into two organizations: the Brazilian Mobility and Technology Association (Amobitec), which brings together companies such as Amazon, Ifood, Flixbus, Uber, Zé Delivery, Buser, 99 and Lalamove, among others, and the Innovation Movement Digital (MID), which brings together companies such as Mercado Livre, GetNinjas, Paypal, Loggi, Movile, Americanas, C6 Bank, Facily, Rappi, OLX and euEntrego.
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In a video produced by the National Alliance of App Deliverers (ANEA), worker representatives point out that “the companies presented a totally disrespectful proposal, of R$ 12 per hour actually worked, which means earning only when you have the order in your backpack ”. In other words, this proposal disregards the fact that time stopped, waiting for the call to carry out tasks, is also working time. Furthermore, as company data is hidden, without any algorithmic transparency, nothing would prevent the totalization of “hours actually worked” from being manipulated by companies, by preventing or hindering the totalization of these hours per day.
In the video, workers’ representatives point out: “We don’t accept it. We believe that when the worker goes to the street, he goes to work. So, consequently, he needs to earn per logged hour. We are also discussing health and safety because we are tired of seeing comrades dying and being maimed in traffic. We no longer accept negotiating in these terms: let’s take to the streets, mobilize, put pressure on companies and the government, so that we can achieve the improvements we want and have been fighting for for so long.”
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Other representatives point out that the proposals are “far below what workers want”, and emphasize that “the amount gained is not even enough to maintain the vehicles. Everything is going up, only the value (received by the workers) is going down”.
The strike is being organized not only by ANEA and other associations of drivers and delivery people through local digital applications, but also by base and top union entities, through the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), União Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT ), Força Sindical (FS), Intersindical, Central dos Trabalhadores do Brasil (CTB), Central dos Sindicatos Brasileiros (CSB) and Nova Central Sindical dos Trabalhadores (NCST). In a note, these centers call on society to understand that these workers are “the most precarious and suffer the most violence and accidents at work to serve the population”, not counting on “recognition from their employers”.
The new national ban on workers using digital platforms, this time involving, in the same collective action, couriers and app drivers, follows the mobilizations for better working conditions and increased income, which have been taking place in the country since mid-2014, when these companies were installed without any compensation.
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There is great expectation from the segment surrounding the Lula (PT) government to fulfill its campaign promise: listening to workers’ demands and finding a solution that not only grants, but expands the rights already provided for in social and labor legislation. The cards are on the table, and we are already familiar with the way companies play.
* Eduardo Rezende Pereira is a doctoral student in Political Science at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and a member of the Popular Consultation.
**This is an opinion article. The author’s view does not necessarily express the editorial line of the newspaper Brasil de Fato.
Source: BdF Paraná
Editing: Peter Carrano