On Tuesday night the death was announced of Thiago Cortes, a Deliveroo worker who was killed in a ‘hit and run’ which occurred on North Wall Quay, Dublin, on Monday night. The circumstances will of course be investigated by Gardai, but it is urgent that broader discussions are had about how these workers are employed, the perils they face every day and the lack of interest of Deliveroo in protecting them.
For some time now, Deliveroo workers in Dublin have been seeking meetings with the company over lack of safety. Riding around the city on a bike at all hours and into all areas is incredibly dangerous. Many workers also experience attacks and racial abuse and many questions have been raised about what safety equipment they have.
Workers have found it impossible to get meetings with Deliveroo because they’re in a bogus self employment set-up, which means they never meet anyone from the company, except through emails. Deliveroo are well aware of the dangers, as workers in the UK have also had to campaign. In 2019 only, Deliveroo made £476 million pounds but have used the excuse of losing profits to continue to underpay and precariously employ their workers.
The conditions of the Deliveroo workers and the type of treatment that’s been meted out to Debenhams workers shows how workers rights have not been a priority for successive governments. Bogus self employment take us back 100 years in terms of rights and safety and the government’s recent refusal to take the €13+ billion Apple tax that could have been invested in new, safe and stable jobs, shows their unwillingness to challenge the capitalist status quo in the interest of the majority.
As shown by the disgraceful treatment of many workers during the pandemic, the capitalist system perpetuates the disrespect, poor wages, terrible conditions and oppression that working class people face. It is capitalism’s drive for profit that makes sure wages are low, cuts are rampant and working conditions are poor.
We call for:
- Union recognition to be mandatory
- Extremely precarious and low paid employment to be outlawed
- €15/hour minimum wage for all
- End the abuse of all workers – including racism, sexism, LGBTQ+phobia
- Allow stamp 4 and citizenship status for all immigrants who desire it
- Trade unions to do everything possible to recruit precarious workers and build a strong united movement of all young and working class people against a system that perpetuates precarity, inequality and oppression
- Election of workers’ representatives with control over health and safety measures, pay and conditions, such as proper PPE during the Covid-19 crisis