The checks, conducted by the Carabinieri for the Protection of Labor and aimed at identifying new forms of exploitation in the food delivery sector, concerned the entire national territory
They registered their accounts on the platforms using false documents, then handed them over to the rider who performed the service, keeping a fee. It is the new frontier of digital illegal hiring, an increasingly widespread phenomenon and at the center of the maxi check carried out throughout the national territory by the Command of the Carabinieri for the protection of work: an operation that involved a total of 845 soldiers, of which 380 various provincial commands of the Arma, and 137 of the local Police, which yesterday evening (Friday 24 March) carried out an extraordinary check in all the provincial capitals and in the main centers of the Peninsula to identify forms of labor exploitation in the food delivery sector.
Digital illegal hiring of riders
The activity represents the evolution of the checks launched by the Carabinieri Unit of the Milan Labor Inspectorate and by the Municipal Authority (and coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office) in September 2019 following some accidents, including serious ones, involving citizens: the objective was that of acquiring information on working hours, on the methods of remuneration, on the means used, on the conditions of hygiene and safety and more. In practice, it maps the dynamics of a profession that is not yet protected and extends the guarantees of employment to the new category of workers.
Subsequent checks in 2022 revealed the existence of new forms of “digital illegal hiring” through the illegal transfer of accounts. If until mid-2019 the sale was a “physiological” and temporary phenomenon (the rider who for any reason could not perform the service temporarily lent his credentials to third parties so as not to be logged out or penalized in the ranking), with the increase post-pandemic delivery requests the figure of the rider has become increasingly in demand. The App Delivery platforms have therefore proceeded to electronically recruit a considerable number of new delivery men. In this new and atypical working scenario, the Carabinieri Nucleus of the Labor Inspectorate of Milan has ascertained the existence and development of numerous episodes of account transfers (also registered with false documents) with the intermediation of labor between the owner of the account data and the actual labor provider, who then had to pay a percentage of the daily earnings. Not to mention vehicle compliance.
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During the checks, the Carabinieri identified as many as 225 Hot Spots previously surveyed throughout the country (places where riders meet waiting to receive orders) and 1,609 bike messengers, verifying the presence of the phenomenon of the transfer of accounts across the whole national territory, concentrated above all in central-northern Italy. Out of 823 foreign workers checked, 92 of these resulted in the transfer of accounts (11.2%): in Brescia, specifically, 12 riders were checked, of which 10 were immigrants, and 1 account transfer was found. The service was carried out on 2 hotspots in the city center by a team made up of 8 carabinieri (4 from the Brescia NIL and 4 from the Provincial Headquarters) and 4 local police officers were also present.
The maxi operation also made it possible to discover 23 irregular people in the area, a minor, who was then returned to his parents, and 22 vehicles unfit for circulation. With regard to the 92 account transfers, following the outcome of the checks, the 36 competent Public Prosecutors‘ Offices will be involved in the hypothesis of illicit intermediation and labor exploitation.