To the couriers and delivery workers of Greece, Europe and the whole world. To the international labour movement.
The Workers Revolutionary Party (Greece) fully endorses the announced international strike of the delivery workers called by the SVEOD rank-and-file union in Greece in cooperation with equivalent unions from Europe and other countries. The first international action of the delivery workers has been announced to take place on the 1st of May 2022. May Day, a global day of international and internationalist action by workers all over the world, has been set as a springboard to the international emergence of the demands and claims of the new proletariat.
“We are workers for a multinational digital industry, with different local employers. We speak different languages, but we all live and work in the same way. We face the same hardships, the same anxieties and have the same needs,” says the SVEOD statement.
“Neither Greeks nor foreigners, but workers united against the bosses” is one of their popular slogans.
The rank-and-file union of motorbike-driving workers -SVEOD- led a major victorious strike in late September 2021 against the abuse of the rights of the workers for the “efood” delivery app platform in Greece, following the decision of “efood” to turn dependent employment into freelance work. The supposedly “free workers” tend to become free to brutal exploitation, without any labour rights. Ever since its foundation in 2006, the SVEOD union, operates following the principles of direct democracy and is led by its general assembly. The union has led great struggles in order to affirm and safeguard labour rights of delivery workers, regulate the profession, claim the classification of the branch in the category of difficult and hazardous occupations, for social security, personal safety, against the violence of the bosses.
During the last 40 years of capitalist globalization, deepening the global capitalist crisis, have brought to the fore a new proletariat of delivery drivers and couriers, workers with flexible working conditions, without labour rights. The crisis and the need for faster circulation of capital caused major changes in the structure and functioning of capitalism, and at the same time the transfer of a large part of the production process to the Far East countries. Transportations and routes have acquired a new strategic importance. The new proletariat emerges as a central link in the capitalist process of production/distribution of the products of labour. At the same time, the international nature of the proletariat is more vividly highlighted and thus the need for the formation of a common strategy and action of the delivery workers on an international scale is also highlighted.
Facing the TINA narrative (“There Is No Alternative”) originating from the bosses and the compromised trade union leaderships, we have proven in action that TINA can be defeated. It can be defeated by workers united, determined, well-prepared in work and society.
We have plenty of time, and no time at all ‘til May 2022! Let’s not waste a day of preparations for joint international action on all delivery services and platforms around the world.
The WRP calls on the respective unions of all countries and the leading internationalist and revolutionary political and workers’ organizations to support a global strike of the delivery workers by organizing an International Day of Action for workers all over the world on May Day 2022.
You may find below the announcement and the demands of SVEOD:
Our objective: The first international strike of the branch
Our action is now coordinated on a European-wide scale as a common ground has already been reached. Exploitation knows no borders an as a result coordinated resistance to our multinational employers throughout Europe and throughout the world is necessary.
We are workers for a multinational digital industry, with different local employers. We speak different languages but we all live and work in the same way. We face the same hardships, the same anxieties and have the same needs.
That’s why, on May 1st 2022, we aim to turn on our motorcycles simultaneously in every major city in Europe and the world. 136 years after the May Day strike in Chicago (the birthplace of our global class vision) the streets of the world are to be filled again with a common demand: permanent and stable work for all.
8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest, 8 hours of leisure!
“Social Automatism” that puts one worker against the other, individualization, cannibalistic competition, “zero-hours contracts” that mean working without schedule, are the enemies of the workers’ consciousness, as opposed to the demand for free time. The “eight-hour work, eight-hour rest, eight-hour leisure” time project contains the quintessence of the Chicago workers’ demand on May 1st, 1886. And here we are today; the necessity of this “old” but fundamental demand for our class is coming back again with the same vigor.
The unification of our speech and thought, combined with the complete dismantling of the employers’ arguments, will work in our favour for today and tomorrow. It will become the weapon of workers who either have a class consciousness or simply respect themselves and their work. So, let’s open the discussion and complement each other. Communication, our collective thinking and solidarity are the simple, everyday weapons that bear incredible strength. They are a working-class steamroller against stupidity, ignorance, lies, blackmail, fear and devaluation.
We should not let an inch of employer’s argument poison our thinking and our vision, our future, our children’s tomorrow. The misery of individualism and of the employers’ lackeys is challenged by the victory that trade union organization and the unity of our class have given us. There is no need to respond to the violence of ignorance with violence; no need for shouting, no need for irritation. Ours are the laws of a better world that cannot be defeated because we have right on our side. In the historical juncture we are all living through, we have proven that society is on our side. Workers from hundreds of sectors and branches who see themselves akin to our struggle have stood and are standing by our side. And that is why we are not shaken by the hatred that stems from the historically predestined defeat of our opponents. We respond with arguments, we expand our thinking for a life of dignity not only for us but for all workers, for all citizens of the world.
RANK-AND-FILE UNITY IN ACTION!
The Rank-And-File General Assembly of the Motorbike Delivery Workers September/October 2021