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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Third time’s a charm? Delivery workers in Latin America organize strike

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Once again food delivery platform couriers on strike. Little over a month ago they’d protested and orders on apps slowed with less workers available to take up orders.

Couriers from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina were called today (1) to cease operations and hit the streets to challenge the status quo of their job situation. 

Though among these countries it appears that things will be hottest in Brazil. And that’s in terms not only of couriers protesting. It’s also because of the high number of cases of coronavirus in Brazil putting them at great risk.

Deliverers strike in Latin America

In any case, across all countries couriers’ demands are more or less consistent with what we’ve previously covered: 

  • A minimum wage, and a bonus in case of an emergency 
  • Justice for the deliverers who’ve been robbed or killed while on the job
  • Sufficient protective and health gear concurrent with the long hours they work
  • The end of couriers being “arbitrarily” blocked on the app
  • Consistent terms and conditions for workers 

Considering that this is the third strike they’ve made, deliverers are hopeful of making a meaningful impact further down the road.

“First off, this movement is not new. The manifestations are a reflection of a wave of broader changes,” says Franklin Lacerda Director of Studies at Brazilian Economic Analysis Consulting.

“Secondly, at this juncture, these strikes reflect a situation that adds pressure for the next couple of months. This push can lead to changes in management and even modify the business model in the medium term.”

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Pros and cons (as usual)

While platforms have insisted that they’re taking the necessary measures and protocols to keep their couriers safe, it’s normal for “things to fall between the cracks.”  So I would agree there can be deliverers exposed because of oversight.

But blocking some of these drivers can be justified. In recent months I’ve had my fair share of Uber Eats and Rappi partners who haven’t complied with protocols or taken other routes to complete more than one delivery in a single run.

As users, for now, the best way we can do to help deliverers is by being generous tippers. But it’s also unreasonable to accept missteps on their end or from food delivery platforms. 

This tug of war will surely continue.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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