Business 08/04/2021

CCOO warns of cases of sexual harassment and accidents among delivery 'riders'

The union collects accounts of riders who have been exposed to risky situations while delivering

2 min
A Glovo delivery man.

"He said to me «You're very pretty, give me your phone number, please ». I replied «What's wrong with you? What's your problem? I'm a worker..». He gave me a bad mark and said I didn't deliver the package." This is the situation that a delivery woman encountered after delivering an order while working for a digital platform. On Thursday, CCOO union in Catalonia has presented a study that collects the experiences of 18 riders and warns of less obvious risks suffered by this group, such as traffic accidents and cases of sexual harassment.

The organisation has perceived that it is common for women messengers not to deliver in certain areas for fear of being exposed to unsafe situations. "Thefts targeting women have taken place and this has caused them to limit orders in some urban areas. Many times they have less income because they refuse these orders," explained Carmen Juares, who at the union is in charge of new working patterns. Even so, they admit that there is no data on the phenomenon and that they rely on experiences gathered from various witness accounts. "It is rare, but the problem is the situation and the possibility of this happening", insisted Dani Garrell, from CCOO Catalunya's Centre for Research.

From interviews with riders who work for Glovo, Deliveroo, UberEats and Stuart the union gathers that these professionals are "constantly exposed to the danger of traffic accidents". One of the interviewees explains that he came to fall off his bike seven times in a year and that the repairs cost him €200, which, as a freelancer, he paid out of his own pocket. "The most serious was the collision of a Deliveroo colleague of ours in Aragó with Meridiana, which was serious - he was in a coma and all. Thank God he is already well, but the platform did not make any kind of contact with him," says another deliveryman in the report.

Less income with the pandemic

CCOO denounces once again that riders' income depends on the volume of orders received and this model puts them under excessive pressure. According to the accounts, in the case of migrants in an irregular situation who have to re-rent accounts on the platforms, this income was between €600 and €900 per month. However, with the arrival of new couriers and the changes in demand brought about by the pandemic, the financial situation of these riders has become more precarious, Juares concluded.

The unions were one of the main driving forces behind the rider law which was finally approved by the Council of Ministers in February and now they say that they will ensure that the applications comply with the regulations 100%. "They will try to escape the labour law through loopholes, but we are working with the Labour Inspectorate to prevent this from happening," warned Juares.