“All you need is a car, an Android or iOS mobile phone and a few hours of spare time,” Amazon said to attract delivery drivers who would deliver their packages with their own vehicles and without a work contract. The company called this service “Flex” and was slapped with fines by the Labor Inspectorate until it withdrew this distribution method from Spain. This Thursday, the Social Court of Madrid forced the multinational to admit that 2,166 people who spread their messages according to this modality were false self-employed workers and should be reimbursed by social security.
“Amazon is a company that develops not only the activity of logistics and transport operator, but also provides delivery and courier services”, resolves the Magistrate of the 14th Social Court of Madrid, thus undermining the main thesis of the multinational to avoid recruitment. Suppliers: “We are not a transport company”, their spokespeople explained to elDiario.es several times.
In a statement made available to this media outlet, the magistrate explains why he does not buy the multinational vision. It is Amazon that takes the competence to make all decisions of the service, to determine the conditions of its performance and compensation and the circumstances of the day, hour and time invested in the performance, “of suppliers that do not have their own business organization. and autonomous” for those who guided and coordinated through its app.
With this method, distributors are “subject to quality and reliability assessments, ie company control through the mechanisms established by the application, do not have the ability to organize their work and in any case are subject to organizational criteria. of the company,” the proposal adds.
The resolution was adopted by Social Security following the opening of an ex officio process to which both the UGT and the CCOO joined as interested parties. “At UGT, we continue to fight to protect the rights of workers who provide services on digital platforms, so that their work is ensured in minimum conditions of safety and dignity, to avoid situations of labor exploitation, which, unfortunately, are very is widespread. Often in these new business forms”, the association notes.
Amazon will appeal
Amazon has announced it will appeal. “We respect the court decision, but we do not agree and we intend to appeal,” a spokesperson told elDiario.es. “At Amazon, we are committed to creating opportunities in the communities in which we operate. We have cooperated with a wide network of delivery companies for years, including large courier companies and small and medium-sized delivery companies. Between 2018 and 2021, we also partnered with some freelancers through the Amazon Flex program, which accounted for a small percentage of packages delivered in Spain. This program will not function in the country from April 2021,” he added.
After the cancellation of the Flex service, the multinational established a new method based on sponsoring the creation of third-party delivery companies that in practice only work on it. The labor inspectorate has already fined him, given that his new method involves illegally transporting workers because they use his computer systems and uniforms and vans with the Amazon logo. Despite the fines, the multinational said it would “not consider” hiring delivery drivers.
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Source: El Diario