All the union clashes on the national contract of the riders

All the union clashes on the national contract of the riders

What happens on the national rider contract. The in-depth analysis by Mario Sassi

On the one hand, those who have their own business in mind. On the other hand, those who think that the protection of employees is an absolute priority. In between there are them: the so-called cyclofattorini or, to make their job description less banal, the riders. Those who, often foreigners, knock on our door with our orders in their bags at the restaurant or pizzeria.

The clash between the two parties is without holds barred. The first party, pressured by the need to take a few steps, negotiated a provocative national contract, albeit absolutely legitimate, with the UGL, making both the confederal union and all that colorful and often inconclusive world follow the story, even without any title.

On the other hand, those who would demand the simple application of the National Collective Labor Agreement on logistics which would bind, once and for all, this figure as an employee. In between, various local experiments and generic promises of future applications of contracts probably very different from the one in place or desired.

For the former, it is a simple matter of cost and flexibility. For the second of rights and protections. A dialogue between the deaf. Fortunately, the lockdown is pushing the parties perhaps towards viable solutions. The contract signed by UGL alone has fulfilled its ice-breaking task but cannot be the final destination. Companies must be convinced of this. While legitimate on a formal level, it remains divisive. On the contrary, that of logistics, never shared by companies in the sector, remains an impracticable goal.

They both have a basic flaw. Wanting to impose a simple solution to a complex problem demonstrating the same difficulty in understanding the need to identify suitable solutions for an activity that, in whole or in part, escapes classical classifications.

The context, however, could favor a possible "green lawn" restart. The business of these companies is growing also thanks to the lockdown that has prompted many to use this service. The so-called "last mile" is too rich and important a dish for businesses. Not only of that sector.

There is not only the classic restaurant that first proposed and used it. There is large-scale distribution, logistics, the idea that new businesses can be created that reconstruct the supply chain from producer to consumer in fields still to be explored, should allow us to reconsider the component of  work needed in another light.

The first mistake made was, in my opinion, to leave the field to power relations alone or to local politics, which has no possibility of regulatory intervention. I add that the indignation of those who do not use the service but contest the business model leaves some time it finds.

Appeals such as the one calling for a boycott of the service remind me of the prejudices against multinational bananas or so-called “junk” foods of ancient memory. I remember the writing on the drinks machine  of my school at the end of the  1960s: “For every Coca Cola you drink, you will give one bullet to the American. And if the AmeriKano does not fail, it is a Vietnamese comrade who perishes ”. Words in freedom. Maybe it's time to take a step forward. I add that the network is always eager to share judgments that cost nothing. But then there is reality.

Delaying only on the type of classification demonstrates the amateurish level of the comparison. Let me give a modest example. Just Eat has announced that it will apply the CCNL from March. All to applaud the split between the companies in the sector as if it were the beginning of the desired breakdown and not a simple calculation of interest. If he chooses the multi-service contract, however, the basic gross hourly rate is close to 7.5 euros against 12 for the logistics one. Not quite the same. But  if the goal is to simply bring this typology back to dependent work, we will get there. With all due respect to those who believe that the application of a national contract is there  unique and essential condition. Thus the royal protections of this, albeit small but interesting population, will once again be left in the background.

Perhaps it is the method used up to now that is bound to produce no useful results. First of all, the presence of multinationals with country managers who have to answer personally for their income statement but perhaps weak in terms of trade union negotiations should push not only to associate, which they have done, but, through their association, to build a path of contractual feasibility with intermediate stages and a hypothesis of final outcome which is other than reiterating the "no" to dependent work.

Probably within that new type of work there are some that can find that outlet and others that maintain and will maintain characteristics more similar to self-employment that could find other solutions. Perhaps more in line with the experiences present in some European countries. Once the path has been identified, authority is needed to be able to verify it with the identified counterpart who, in turn, should build a true mandate from the cyclists without declaring themselves to be holders of a role today only on paper. I understand that it is not easy because today representation is a micronesia of ethnicities, interests and visions.

But as time passes, I say this from experience, if companies do not bet on serious interlocutions (albeit less accommodating than those identified up to now) they will find themselves overwhelmed by a dispersive fragmentation well known to those who work in logistics. And they will be forced to spend their time in the courts.

I therefore stress the need to start from scratch as quickly as possible. Whoever aims on both sides at the capitulation of the adversary does not have the faintest idea of ​​where he is slipping and, above all, where he is parking mutual expectations and interests. 

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Sat, 27 Feb 2021 07:00:41 +0000.