On Tuesday 17/05, with a sudden announcement the company unilaterally changed the way workers with 4-hours contracts can choose their shifts. While until now workers were choosing in which hours they wanted to work, with the new system they will only be allowed to choose the days in which they are not available, the same way that workers with 6-hours and 8-hours contracts do. So far so good, one could say. However, this change is neither innocent nor random. By introducing these restrictions for the worker in announcing when “not available”, the company doesn’t allow workers to freely choose the program they want, with the result of deciding arbitrarily the days and working hours of each worker, without taking into account the other obligations and needs of the workers themselves (a second occupation, studies, family problems etc.), in contrast with the initial statements of the company itself.
We have to make it clear that most workers with 4-hours contracts also have a second job that allows them to earn just enough money to live on. When they were hired, the company was promoting a flexible working schedule designed to meet the needs of the workers. The goal of the company was to attract workforce from the labour market, and at the same time to create the image of a company with a “human face” to sell to the public and to the customers. Especially during the pandemic period, recruitment of riders in e-food increased exponentially. The politics of the company changed drastically in September 2021, when in a clearly symptomatic way, the company stopped hiring workers with employee contracts! After the massive mobilizations of the September ’21, which also brought the victorious result of permanent employee contracts for more than 2.000 workers, the company now tries to find indirect ways to lower the percentage of the employees and converting them in freelancers. With this last move regulating the way the working schedule can be determined, the company really showed its intentions for what they are.
We, the workers, didn’t forget the purpose of the message that the company sent to 115 workers on the last September. The company changed its ways, but the goal remains the same: the extermination of the employees and the rule of the “freelance” model.
“What happens to others first, will eventually happens to you also, and finally to everybody”.
The company goes back to its initial goals, but with a new trick that forces employees with 4-hours contracts to choose with which job they want to continue to work, since e-food doesn’t allow them anymore to have a fix working schedule with the company, as it was instead the norm for the past three years. And while the choice of fixed working schedules for 4-hours contract employees is made impossible with the new system, the company leaves open a tiny window for them, pushing them to become freelancers in order to have flexible working hours and unloading itself by the cost and the obligations that it has towards the workers.
We didn’t, however, changed the way we oppose to every kind of boss and company, and to the methods they use to make fools out of us (see for example, “productivity bonuses”).
We will always be against every form of exploitation and violation of our labour rights, whether these attempts happen with direct or indirect ways.