Courier Protests in São Paulo, Brazil

Originally published here.

On April 17th, motorcyclists and riders working for app-based delivery platforms held a protest on Paulista Avenue, in São Paulo.

They demanded:

  1. Higher pay per delivery
  2. An end to deactivations (many couriers are being deactivated from apps without explanation)
  3. Provide PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic
  4. More transparency in relation to payments

The demonstration ended in the early afternoon with a call for a new protest on April 20th. An interesting aspect of the protest was its autonomous character, which had no participation from any union.

On April 20th, couriers protested again, starting their demonstration on the Southern part of the city, passing through Paulista Avenue and going to IFood’s headquarters in Osasco. IFood is the largest food delivery app in Brazil. There they pressured the company for a while and then went to the front of the Record TV station, where they recorded an interview talking about the movement’s demands and ended their protest.

The number of app couriers in Brazil, which has been growing in recent years, has grown exponentially with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands of unemployed workers, informal workers from various sectors and workers on suspended contract are going into this activity as a way of surviving under the pandemic. Noticing the increase in the number of couriers, app companies took advantage of the situation by lowering wages. Seeing their working conditions worsening and not receiving PPE from the companies, workers started to organise and to protest. Demonstrations took place not only in São Paulo, but also in other parts of Brazil (including Acre on the 23rd of March 20201 and Fortaleza on the 19th of April 20202), as well as in other countries, with a call for an international strike, with participation in Ecuador, Argentina and Spain. 3

1 https://feverstruggle.net/2020/04/02/brazil-app-couriers-from-acre-stop-deliveries-under-pandemic/
2 https://web.facebook.com/lipynho.souza/videos/1896676387134824/
3 https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/sociedad/repartidores-protestan-pago-justo-mayor-seguridad-sanitaria/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

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