Note published on July 18 in Reforma, Negocios [Business] Section by Verónica Gascón.
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Delivery persons for platforms live each day under labor uncertainty.
They can be terminated at any time, they have extenuating working hours and their basic rights, such as access to social security, are not acknowledged.
Edith Hinojosa is an example. She almost lost her taco restaurant because of the pandemic and, as a consequence, she had to register in Uber Eats in order to complement her income.
The family business, which had been established for several years in a rented locale now operates from the garage of their home, and at a loss.
“I had to go to work in Cornershop in the mornings. I fill orders made by people and I deliver them, because this means surviving and bringing money back for the taco restaurant; I even provide money for the taco restaurant using the money I make.
“Uber can dismiss you for any reason: if you forgot to take a bag with you because it was raining, you have to go back for it because people could report that you stole the merchandise and they dismiss you without any benefits, severance package or year-end bonus.
She explained that there is insurance for the merchandise and for the car, as long as it is during a trip to deliver an order.
“There is a contract, but it benefits the platform; it says that they can dismiss you at any time if you were rude to the client, if you didn’t say ‘good morning’ back”, said Hinojosa.
According to the ILO study “The work of the future with legal rights”, the average monthly income for these workers in Mexico is of 2 thousand 227 pesos in the case of men, but women receive 400 less in average.
In this study, a survey was conducted among one thousand and 8 delivery persons, who said that working days extend to nine and a half hours per day, in average.
In regard income stability, 40 percent of respondents stated that there is a significant amount of uncertainty, as income varies greatly and there is no certainty between one week and the next one.
The situation is no different for Edgar, who has been an Uber operator for the past five and a half years.
He stated that he is on his own in the work because the company does not offer any kind of benefit or insurance.
“Uber divests itself from every obligation, you can own the cars and they tell you that they only lease the application, that their business is not transportation and, therefore, they do not provide any support and they do not give you insurance”, he explained.
There is no legislation in Mexico to acknowledge the rights of digital platform workers, but there is an important debate in this regard being conducted in other countries, said Óscar de la Vega, a lawyer at the D&M Firm.