A trial of Uber Eats in Italy

There is a trial ongoing of Uber Eats in Italy over alleged exploitation of migrants and asylum seekers. On May 29, a Milan court placed the Italian branch of the food delivery platform on the temporary suspension of payments for allegedly exploiting their riders, many of whom are migrants. Milan prosecutors on October 12 closed the investigation, with ten people under investigation, including the manager.

The prosecutors found that riders, some of them living in migrants reception centres, were paid just ‘three euros per delivery’, were robbed of their tips and punished when made mistakes. Most of them are migrants from Bangladesh, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Mali and Pakistan.

Similar abuses have been reported in other countries. A year ago, the New York Times reported how delivery companies exploited “desperate migrants” in France, paying them 3.50 euros per order. The article included the story of a teenager who had lived in an abandoned car after arriving from Tunisia. He earned 17 euros for four hours of delivering food during the day he spoke to the journalist.

Amidst the pandemic, as food delivery is booming and riders face exposure to the virus, in Brazil, Uber workers protested against their conditions. In Spain, the General Union of Workers (UGT) has recently released a report warning the “situation of slavery suffered by migrant workers” riding for these delivery platforms.