The call ‘law rider’ forced the digital delivery platforms to hire their delivery men as salaried employees. In a sector characterized by job insecurity and the illegality of its workforce, this legislative compendium came into force on August 12. It was just a month before, and as a consequence of this reform, when Deliveroo announced the cessation of its operations in Spain. A crucial turning point in this sector came from the hand of the Supreme court in September 2020, when he published a car in which established that delivery men are employed and not self-employed.
At the same time, professionals from the sector decided to enter the world of corporatism and the collaborative economy by establishing their own cooperatives of ‘riders’. These small entities integrate a reduced staff of distributors and agree directly with a specific range of businesses to offer their services. Both delivery men and the owners of the businesses themselves emphasize the social and labor commitment With which these shipping cooperatives were born, being their main driver in their creation.
It is the case of La Pájara by Bike, one of the cooperatives that work in Madrid capital. Martino Correggiari, one of its co-founders, details to La Información how their workers are former Deliveroo or Glovo delivery people. During the first strikes in the sector in 2017, together with the precarious conditions and lack of security that involved their jobs, they began to be interested in the model proposed by cooperatives in their sector. “We set up this project with the idea that it would be local and to maintain our rights and professional dignity”, indicates Correggiari. “We do not want to repeat the scheme of the platforms.”
“We do not want to repeat the scheme of the platforms”
More than 600 orders per month and another rate model
Finally, La Pájara was established in 2018 as an example of a “social and solidarity economy”. Shipments are managed through Coopcycle, an aggregator of cooperatives and the restaurants themselves where the customer can access to make their order. Within his figures, Martino Correggiari exposes to this newspaper that they can deal “between 400 or 500” per month with the 35 restaurants with which they operate today. To this are added the 100 personalized shipments, approximately, from scheduled courier and another 200 from the “last mile” service.
The main difference between them and the large platforms are the rates they establish both for the customer and for the restaurants and other businesses. These are usually higher for the consumer, due to the “luxury that this service supposes”, and lower for establishments. In Correggiari’s own words, large platforms take an average of 35% from restaurants, and they suppose some “very abusive percentages” for small businesses and to which only the big chains can accede. On the contrary, the customer is hardly charged any extra.
This commitment is shared in the same way by the restaurants themselves. Alberto Ricci, manager of the Menomale restaurant of Madrid, assures La Información that La Pájara “is close to his idea of what the deliveries in the city should be. In this same line he expresses Marion, owner of the restaurant L’Adoré also located in the capital. They came to them thanks to mutual friends and she admits that “they do not work with other home delivery companies.” “We like that everything that corresponds to the high charges in the delivery, which the client pays, goes directly to La Pájara,” Marion says. “We do not trust the treatment given to their employees by the large platforms”.
A ‘law rider’ with little draft
Fernando García, spokesperson for Riders For Rights, highlights the monopoly exercised by companies such as Just Eat or Glovo. By working at a loss to secure their land or area of influence, setting prices themselves, anyone who considers working in a “more organic” way cannot compete against them. “They dump. To this must be added the issue of labor abuses and false self-employed workers”, shows Garcia.
“Platforms leave a very residual part of the market and tend to be more committed restaurants”
“They leave a very residual part of the market, which is usually more conscientious companies or more committed restaurants,” emphasizes Riders Por Derechos. In this sense, despite standing as a alternative formula, the main problem that arises is how many restaurants are able to cover in a certain space. To this would be added the existence or not of an application to offer the service, the positioning of the brand and the degree of awareness of the average consumer.
The expert in labor law and collaborating professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Pere Vidal López, stresses that the ‘rider law’ has not been a “step gained” in the sector. This is due to the fact that the order of the Supreme Court, together with what is detailed in the Workers’ Statute, has already stipulated the illegal nature of labor relations disguised by service contracts. “The legal procedure to establish a complaint and a sanction takes a long time in particular cases. This with the law has not changed,” Vidal argues.