The Labor Inspection has concluded that hundreds of Amazon delivery people in Madrid and Barcelona, more than 3,000 people, are false self-employed and has officially registered the messengers with Social Security, following the complaint filed by the UGT union against the e-commerce giant. According to El País, what has advanced the news, the performance reaches almost “4,000 workers”. The labor authority claims to several companies of the multinational (Amazon Road Transport SL and Amazon Spain Fulfillment, SL) large sums for the Social Security contributions unpaid by their workers. Only in Barcelona, the Labor Inspection claims in two liquidation certificates more than three million euros from the multinational, as this media has been able to verify.
‘High technology’ on the outside, precariousness on the inside
The UGT union has advanced the result of the investigation of the Labor Inspection in the middle of Amazon’s sales campaign, which celebrates the so-called ‘Prime Day’ these days. “These days, the Amazon Prime Day campaign is capable of throwing prices to offer cheaper products because it uses a fraudulent labor model in which a large amount of money is saved by lowering the working conditions of its workers,” Gonzalo Pino has denounced , Secretary of Union Action of the UGT.
The union has just learned of the two liquidation acts of the Labor Inspection in Barcelona, which affect hundreds of workers and for which the labor authority claims about 998,000 euros from Amazon Road Transport SL and about 2,156,000 euros from Amazon Spain Fulfillment , SL
In addition, at the beginning of September, the labor authority in Madrid informed UGT that it had acted ex officio by registering Amazon distributors in the capital. As the union has learned, the action reaches “2,921 people.” elDiario.es has contacted an Amazon Flex distributor in Madrid who worked as a self-employed person and confirms that she was officially registered with Social Security as an employee.
With the unpaid contributions by the almost 3,000 workers in Madrid, the amount owed by the multinational to the Social Security coffers reaches “6.16 million euros,” according to El País.
elDiario.es has asked Amazon about the actions of the Labor Inspectorate in both cities, but has not received a response at the moment. The multinational could appeal the minutes of the labor authority and present allegations to justify that its distributors are not false self-employed.
The law against false self-employed workers on the way
In UGT they consider that this is a new victory for labor law over the “fraudulent practices” of digital platforms and, in this case, of this large e-commerce multinational, whose delivery people usually carry orders in vans or cars. The Labor Inspectorate considers that Amazon also uses false freelancers, like other home delivery companies (Glovo, Deliveroo and Uber Eats). “This way of competing in the market supposes a tremendously dangerous economic model”, warns Gonzalo Pino. Recently, the CNMC ruled that Amazon is a postal operator and that, therefore, it must comply with the regulations of the sector.
The acts of the Labor Inspection on the American electronic commerce giant come in the middle of the debate on the regulation of work on digital platforms to prevent its abuse of false self-employed workers and after the important judgment of the Supreme Court that certified this labor fraud regarding the riders by Glovo. The Ministry of Labor affirms that they will meet shortly with the unions and employers to propose the regulation, which will adhere to home delivery platforms, as confirmed by the Secretary of State for Labor, Joaquín Pérez Rey, in this interview with elDiario.es. This approach has popularized future legislation as the ‘Rider Act’.
The UGT and CCOO unions oppose this very specific regulation of work on digital platforms, which they believe it falls short, since they remember that there are many types of platforms that use false freelancers in sectors such as cleaning, private classes and care at home, among others. While in CCOO they advocate reviewing the legislation with a broad focus, in UGT they are reluctant to approve changes in labor regulations, which they consider is enough to classify these “digital” employees as employed and not as self-employed.
“From the UGT we insist that the current legislation is effective against fraud. A new regulation could consolidate a model without labor rights”, argues Pino, who considers that “a future of new judicial processes is announced, with the difference that this time We have the precedent of the Supreme Court ruling on the Glovo case. ”