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For Labor inspectors, calling a delivery person an ‘entrepreneur’ is a fallacy and hides a link

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São Paulo – “In the light of reality”, Rappi is a company of transport and fast deliveries, not of technology, conclude Labor tax auditors, who for months dedicated themselves to monitor, in São Paulo, the daily lives of those who they travel around the cities taking parcels. The inspectors’ conclusions were forwarded to the Labor Prosecutor’s Office (MPT). The infraction notice, with more than 200 pages, takes up an issue not yet pacified in the Judiciary, which has contradictory decisions on the subject.

The sector has already been the target of a strike in 2020. In the wake of the movement, several projects appeared with proposals to regulate the activity. Some predate the stoppage. There is a tangle of proposals in progress, with some projects attached (attached) to others. (Check some at the end of the text.)

Autonomy? Does not exist

But the inspection has no doubt: couriers that work with applications, such as Rappi, are not self-employed, as companies in the sector would have us believe. They are employees, subordinates, who should be registered. To call them entrepreneurs, with freedom to exercise their professional activity, is a “fallacy”. “Autonomy simply does not exist, as delivery personnel do not determine the way in which services are provided, not even prices”, points out an excerpt from the report, to which the RBA had access.

According to the inspectors, although there is no formal link, all the requirements of the employment relationship are present: personality, non-eventuality, subordination and cost. They are “employees hired wrongly as freelancers” to work as a delivery man, using motorcycles or bicycles. They interviewed 100 couriers, but most declined to be identified, fearing reprisals.

Profit from poverty

The auditors understand that the company – which presents itself as a simple intermediary – takes advantage of the so-called structural unemployment to recruit its labor force in an abusive way. And not complying with the labor legislation. If any of them complain about the working conditions, the “replacement” is immediate.

After all, as the inspectors found, most of these deliverers are low-income young people, living on the periphery, in communities and slums in São Paulo. In short, “socially and economically vulnerable young people”. Thus, the company benefits from factors such as the absence of specific regulations and legislation, the fragility of professional representation and the delay of the public authorities. As a result, revenue grows based on evasion of labor and social security rights.

Activity is delivery

There is no precise number on the number of couriers in operation. The report provides an estimate of more than 7,000 couriers, including cyclists and motorcyclists, with active or inactive registration, who provided services to Rappi until December, only in the city of São Paulo. There would be 200 thousand in nine countries in Latin America, most of them in Brazil.

“They (Rappi) really produce information technology. But the corporate object, and main economic activity, is the fast delivery service ”, says the auditor Rafael Neiva, who participated in the inspection work, alongside Rafael Augusto Silva. Both are part of the group to combat informality and fraud in employment relations of the Regional Superintendence of Labor in São Paulo (SRT-SP), formerly known as Regional Police Offices, linked to the extinct Ministry of Labor. Neiva also questions the “autonomy” argument commonly used by the company. “How is it that the freelancer does not set the price of the service itself?”

Without social protection

Likewise, delivery personnel do not define their own routes. According to Rafael, it is a work relationship without any social protection and with all the risks only for those who are on the streets. And they are still subject to punishments, such as being blocked by the application or ending up in areas of lower demand. In addition, refusing a service does not mischaracterize subordination, as provided for in the CLT itself, in an article (452) on intermittent work.

The inspectors affirm that there is no autonomy or independence in this relationship. After all, they argue, the couriers represent the interests of the company, wear clothes and identifications, provide services according to company guidelines and receive payment determined by Rappi. Payments are made by a contractor (SmartMEI), in whose application the delivery person must sign up to receive the “salary”.

Employer rhetoric

Based on partial information provided by the two companies – even if notified, they did not provide all the required documents – and in the interviews, the inspectors concluded that technology is a “secondary activity”. It is also used for its effective corporate purpose, which are freight and delivery services. “The rhetoric used by the assessed company, denying delivery services as its economic activity, is part of a complex, full and abusive transfer of risks from the enterprise to the deliverers.”

These workers sign what the auditors call an adhesion contract, “in which only one party unilaterally determines terms and conditions”. In this way, they add, “the supposed freedom of deliverers is manipulated by the algorithms, either by granting incentives and benefits, on the one hand, or by the application of sanctions and punishments, on the other”. Some “promotions” take delivery personnel to work for up to 24 hours straight. The contract does not include the contractor’s duties, only the contracted ones.

Legal Limbo

The inspectors affirm that, even with legal alternatives (intermittent work, part-time or CLT, the company, even the full-time celetist work itself, the company chose the “negation” of obligations. Thus, it keeps its business “in real limbo legal”.

Chamber has several proposals on the subject, but the process is stalled
(Photo: Najara Araujo / Chamber of Deputies)

Congressional Proposals

Senator Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship-SE). Under PL 3,754, workers in applications now have basic rights. It’s been stopped since July,

Representative Márcio Jerry (PCdoB-MA), changes the CLT to add rights to those who provide goods delivery services through applications. Proceedings also stopped.

Representative Bira do Pindaré (PSB-MA) and others. It deals with items such as protective equipment and remuneration. Last movement occurred in October.

Presented by deputy Eduardo Bismarck (PDT-CE), it is specific for delivery men who use bicycles. Waits for rapporteur in committee.

Restricted to the period of the pandemic, deputy José Airton Félix Cirilo’s (PT-CE) project has protective equipment and materials. Awaits dispatch from the Mayor.

Presented on July 10, PL 3.748, by Tabata Amaral (PDT-SP) and others, institutes the on-demand work regime. It was attached to another project (6,015).

De Mário Heringer (PDT-MG), also deals with working conditions and regularization before the Labor Court. It was also attached, in turn, to PL 5,069.

De Gervásio Maia (PSB-PB), who presented the proposal in September 2019. Awaits opinion in committee.

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Economy

Argentine President contaminated by covid-19 and fulfills isolation

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São Paulo – The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, informed on social media that he tested positive for covid-19, after showing symptoms of the disease. He said he is in isolation and has warned people with whom he has had contact in the past 48 hours. And he also reported that he had 37.3ºC of fever, in addition to feeling a slight headache.

The announcement was made this Saturday (3), the day after Fernández turned 62. “For everyone’s information, I am physically well and, although I wanted to end my birthday without this news, I am also in a good mood,” said the president.

He received the first dose of the vaccine (Sputnik) in January. The second, the following month. “I’m fine, I don’t have any symptoms. Only this fever from yesterday that I reported ”, he declared to the newspaper Clarín. “It is a very complicated virus, and the demonstration is that I got infected, even though I was vaccinated with both doses and with extreme care,” he added.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who received the second dose of the vaccine today, sent a message of support to “Daqui do Brasil I send good energy, hoping for its prompt recovery. May soon overcome this disease to continue caring for the Argentine people. Hugs, mate! ”He wrote.

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