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Canada The delivery men on the front line, still without recognition

21:25  30 october  2020
21:25  30 october  2020 Source:   liberation.fr

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Le 20 avril à Paris, durant le premier confinement, les livreurs avaient dû attendre deux mois avant de disposer d'équipement de protection sanitaire (masques, gel hydroalcoolique) contre le Covid-19. © PHILIPPE LOPEZ On April 20 in Paris, during the first confinement, the delivery men had to wait two months before having health protection equipment (masks, hydroalcoholic gel) against the Covid-19. The delivery platforms will undoubtedly be strongly mobilized again during the reconfinement. If sanitary conditions have improved a little since this spring, precariousness remains the norm in the sector. And the anger rises.

During reconfinement, deliveries of burgers and sushi continue. Restaurants may no longer have the right to host customers, but they can still ship food to them by courier. The President of the Republic himself recalled this on Wednesday evening in his televised address, inviting the French to support "companies which, close to where you live, have innovated through remote orders, take-away sales or home delivery". To believe that the products arrive at home as if by magic, Emmanuel Macron did not dwell on the people who run this whole system. However, we know them: by bike, scooter or scooter, the deliverers of Deliveroo or Uber Eats form the body of the precarious among the precarious , the "first of duty" counting many undocumented in their ranks, including the efforts made since the first containment have not been recognized.

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In what state of mind are they approaching this reconfinement? "With anger", responds without hesitation Edouard Bernasse, one of the members of the Collectif des delivereurs autonomes de Paris (Clap), pointing to "working conditions [which] have deteriorated exponentially" in recent years, with a remuneration fell to 2.75 euros delivery on Deliveroo. And which is becoming more and more "unreadable" by integrating new parameters. "Today you have to have done Maths Sup, Maths Spé to read the stuff. Maybe next summer, we'll have to do some gravitational wave training ... "he quipped.

Of course, the health conditions are not exactly the same as in the spring. During the first confinement, the delivery men spent several weeks protecting themselves from the Covid-19 as best they could, pulling up their slings or wearing their scooter helmets under all circumstances. "The platforms announced after two weeks of confinement that they were going to deliver equipment, but in the end it took two months," recalls Ludovic Rioux, host of the national collective of delivery people CGT. No specific data exist, but a number of them have been infected. When Doctors Without Borders conducted a study in the spring revealing that more than one in two very precarious people had been infected with Covid-19, the NGO noted that in the homes of migrant workers, almost all of those tested had contracted the disease. However, many of these workers are "Deliveroo deliverers, Uber drivers, etc.", noted Thomas Roederer, epidemiologist at Epicenter, an epidemiology center attached to MSF.

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Today, there is no shortage of protection, even if much of it remains the responsibility of the deliverers. And their status leaves these self-employed workers pretty much alone in the face of Covid-19 if they contract it. "You have no interest in declaring yourself sick if you are, because the benefits are minimal," said Ludovic Rioux. According to him, "it is in any case not possible to respect the sanitary instructions", especially when receiving the order at the restaurant.

A contested decree

Beyond the sanitary circumstances, the exasperation of couriers is above all caused by the statutory paralysis in which they find themselves. In January, the government entrusted Jean-Yves Frouin, former president of the social chamber of the Court of Cassation, with a mission “for better representation of workers on digital platforms”. Its long-awaited conclusions were due to arrive at the end of October. But without waiting for them, the government published on October 23, a decree supposed to allow "more regulation and social dialogue" within the platforms. The latter can now write a charter, after "consultation" with the workers concerned, in order to regulate their working conditions and remuneration. This text must then be approved by the General Directorate of Labor. Breakthrough ? Not in the eyes of independent deliverers and their supporters, who do not see what this text brings them. On the one hand, because the adoption of the charter is optional.

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On the other hand, because the blur persists on several major points. "We speak of" consultation ": but who is consulted? How? 'Or' What ? We do not even know how many people work for these platforms, "notes Communist Senator Pascal Savoldelli, author of a bill to recognize a status for these workers. In its press release, the Ministry of Labor also refers to the fixing, through the charter, of a "decent price" for shopping. "But what do you call a decent price? It means nothing. In no other economic activity, we can not afford to talk like that ", gets carried away the elected representative of Val-de-Marne.

"This decree is a way for the government to respond to criticism about the handling of invisible 'corvée firsts'. It makes it possible to say: "At least, we did something" ", slice Edouard Bernasse. According to him, if orders explode over the next few weeks, "delivery people will not honor them until there is a price of 7.5 or 8 euros per ride, at least temporarily. There, they are at their end. "

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