By Crazy Dog friends
Thursday, September 16th, the application delivery workers of São José dos Campos City enter their 6th day on strike. This is certainly the longest work stoppage carried out by the category in the country.
The movement began on September 11th, in response to the call for a “national strike against “application terrorism”. Unlike other cities, however, the struggle in São José dos Campos went beyond the date set, continuing until the moment this text was being written.
The main demand of the strikers is the increase in payment rates, which are becoming increasingly insufficient for workers due to successive increases in fuel prices. The workers guarantee that they will only get back to work when the applications propose effective improvements.
Since Saturday, motorcyclists and cyclists are organized in small groups distributed among the main delivery points of São José dos Campos, “brecando” [stopping] the colleagues who come to withdraw orders, informing them about the strike and the demands. There are also those who make the “ronda”, that is, they go around the city delivering water and food to those who are in the blockades, and also help to shut down stores with fewer delivery workers.
The stoppage already affects the entire delivery network in the city. Many establishments have been forced to turn off the app platforms since there are no delivery workers available to pick up orders. Desperate because of the lost income, restaurant owners began to press iFood — the main delivery application in the city and the country. The Department of iFood responsible for the relationship with the delivery workers has sought some of the motorcyclists most involved in the shutdown, but so far has not provided any concrete answer regarding the claims.
Another notable fact about this mobilization is the union between “nuvem” [cloud] and “OL” [Logistic Operator] delivery workers, two distinct work regimes within iFood that often generate conflicts and competition between deliverers.
Every night, after the restaurants close, delivery workers meet and decide if the strike continues for the next day. Despite the impressive organizational capacity of these workers, the movement risks being stifled if it fails to expand and win support from other sectors of the city, or even from motorcyclists and cyclists from other regions. The lack of media visibility is another obstacle to overcome, since maintaining a good image with users is a vital point for applications.
Since they are paid workers per delivery, these workers have been for days without earning anything. There is no shortage of courage to carry on the fight, but they run the risk of being left with no money.
To further circumvent this difficulty, a virtual fundraising campaign for the strike was organized. Other solidarity actions, such as going to the blockades, recording videos in support, or even helping to publicize the stoppage are fundamental at this time. The outcome of the São José dos Campos strike is decisive for uberized workers across the country: their victory can boost organizational processes in many other places.
At this decisive moment, we cannot stand still. Let’s support São José delivery workers!
Translated into English by Marco Túlio Vieira. Read the article in Portuguese here.