No Delivery Day in Italy as riders strike for rights

Riders appeal to customers not to order on Friday 26 March as part of the #nodeliveryday strike.

Delivery drivers and cyclists, known in Italy as riders, are staging a strike on Friday 26 March to protest for better rights, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

As part of the 'No Delivery Day' action, workers in the delivery sector are calling on people not to order meals or purchases from home today.

The strike comes two days after a deal was signed between unions and delivery companies to monitor and stop the exploitation of couriers, however the battle for workers' rights continues.

The action has been called by the national network RiderXiDiritti, supported by many trade unions, with riders highlighting that they have worked throughout the covid-19 pandemic with few protections provided.

"On 26 March roles will be reversed, this time riders from all over Italy will stop as they wait to receive something: a real contract, with real safeguards, concrete guarantees, fairness and respect for their work. In other words, a national collective agreement," wrote trade union Uiltucs on its website.

La Repubblica reports that trade union membership among couriers is multiplying across Italy as workers seek rights in a sector which the Italian government has defined as "essential" during the covid-19 crisis.

The Ancona branch of the Nidil CGIL trade union outlines its reason for supporting the strike: "Riders are not entitled to vacation, sickness, severance pay, night work allowance and during the pandemic, while platform earnings increased, these workers have suffered a marked worsening of their working conditions."

The call was echoed by the Milan branch of the Cgil trade union which states: "On 26 March, support the riders' strike: don't order!"

The action comes four days after employees of online retail giant Amazon staged a one-day strike, the first of its kind in Italy, to demand better working conditions.

Photo credit: Luca Ponti / Shutterstock.com.