Riders Union Bologna
Riders Union Bologna is a group of riders and social activists working in Bologna to solve the problems such as precariousness and the lack of protections in the platform economy.
Riders Union Bologna organises meetings and strikes. Some of the most successful actions, both in terms of participation and press coverage, took place on days with extreme weather conditions, when some of the platforms operating in Bologna refused to suspend deliveries at the expenses of workers’ safety. In at least one of these occasions, participation in the strike was so high that platforms were forced to interrupt services.
In 2017, Riders Union Bologna signed a petition addressed to Deliveroo with other self-organised collectives ‘Deliveroo Strike Raiders’ and ‘Deliverance Project’. The demands included the application of the ‘national collective bargaining agreement on transportation, the introduction of an employment contract, the renewal of all the contracts that were about to expire, a minimum wage of €7.50 per hour, the guarantee of at least 20 hours’ of assignments per week pay, a 30% raise in case of rain or snow, a provision for overtime, and compensation for exposure to smog, as well as insurance coverage, the reimbursement of maintenance expenses for the worker’s bicycle and phone, and a safety kit with a helmet’. In April 2018, Riders Union Bologna hosted the first National Riders Assembly. The event included exchanges and mutual learning sessions at national and European level. Riders Union Bologna also went a step further and addressed the demands to the local institutions.
On 31 May 2018 in Bologna, Italy, a ‘Charter of fundamental digital workers’ rights within an urban setting’ was signed by the city’s mayor, the Riders Union Bologna, the Italian General Confederation of Labour ( Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions ( Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori, CISL) and the Italian Labour Union (Unione Italiana del Lavoro, UIL) and by two food delivery platforms, Sgnam and MyMenu, which together employ about a third of food delivery riders in Bologna. The Charter sets out a fix hourly rate that equals or exceeds the minimum wage in the respective sector, compensation for overtime, public holidays, bad weather compensation, insurance (covered by the platform) for accidents and illness at work, as well as coverage for accidents that may occur on the way to and returning from work, compensation for bicycle maintenance, and the guarantee of freedom of association and the right to strike.
In 2020, Riders Union Bologna, together with other trade unions including CGIL, CISL, and UIL, supported a screening campaign known as ‘Safety Delivery initiative’ launched by the Municipality of Bologna. More details of this initiative can be found in the entry of Safety Delivery initiative.
In the last three years, Riders Union Bologna launched a series of strikes and mobilisations in key days during which delivery generally reaches high peaks, such as the Black Friday. The last nationwide strikes were declared on 30 October 2020 and on 26 March 2021. The ad hoc form of protest includes the interruption of the services complemented by requests the users to boycott the platforms during those days.
Currently, the Riders Union Bologna provides a range of free services to the food delivery riders, including legal assistance, assistance with tax issues, assistance with contracts, assistance with health-related issues such as free Covid-19 related swabs. The services are provided as according to the needs of the workers and the capabilities of the volunteers. The services are selected according to the main needs and requests emerged directly from the food delivery riders.
- Negotiation of working conditions, Organising and representing workers
- Employee organisation, Government, Platform
- representation, industrial relations, social dialogue