Brazil: Reports claim application delivery workers work harder, earn less and do not receive support from companies, during the pandemic; includes company response
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, deliverers of product delivery platforms such as Rappi, UberEats and Ifood have ensured that many people abide by social distancing measures. However, the applications claim that they have no responsibility for their health or safety of their workers. In addition to working more and earning less, according to research, companies do not guarantee minimum protective equipment, such as antibacterial gel for daily use, spaces for cleaning vehicles, bags and helmets. They say that deliverers are not their employees, but “collaborators”, “users” of the digital platform.
The Business and Human Rights Information Center contacted Ifood, UberEats and Rappi to respond to these allegations. Ifood and Rappi responded.
For more information about the allegations in Portuguese, see our website.
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...Since April, workers for food delivery apps controlled by large transnational companies have engaged in a series of strikes and job actions in a number of countries including Brazil, Spain, Ecuador and Argentina. Their demands are the same: better delivery rates, safer working conditions and for the multimillion-dollar companies to supply essential protective equipment that has been paid for by the workers themselves.
In Brazil, these mobilizations are deeply connected to the strikes by other workers, such as call center operators and health professionals, whose jobs have been decreed essential services during the coronavirus pandemic but have been denied safe working conditions...
During the COVID-19 crisis, their working conditions, which were already fundamentally precarious, have worsened. The dismissal of workers without justification and the lack of communication with the companies are common...
The real response of the food delivery corporations to the conditions imposed by the coronavirus crisis has been to use the increase in the number of available workers to lower their payments. Offering longer and longer runs and lowering the percentage gained per run, they force the workers to spend more time each day “logged in,” struggling for a slightly better income...
...iFood reinforces that there has been no reduction in the total value of food deliveries during the pandemic, which means that the statement that "delivery people are working at least the same amount of hours and earning a lot less" is not applicable to couriers who use iFood platform.
The average amount paid per food delivery route is R$8, which is calculated using factors such as the distance traveled, the city and the day of the week. All couriers know the value per route before they choose to accept or decline the delivery offered. Although the demand for food delivery has increased during the pandemic, iFood has put a large part of its portion of revenue towards new initiatives to protect the food delivery ecosystem that consists of delivery partners, restaurants and consumers.
To date, iFood has allocated more than R$14 million in protection measures to delivery partners. These combined measures attained an average score of 8.9 out of 10 from food app couriers, the highest ranking of all other major food delivery companies operating in Brazil, according to the national Locomotiva survey at the end of April...
...We created and are now developing a massive educational, self care and preventive campaign. We have been massively and daily communicating the entire ecosystem to follow the authorities’ safety orientations before, during and after a delivery...We developed and put into practice the “delivery with no contact”...We bought and are intensively distributing thousands of alcohol gel units and masks to delivery partners...On the Rappitendero’s app, we created a specific bottom through which they can notify Rappi if they present symptoms related to Covid-19 or are diagnosed with it, so that they stop making the deliveries and get immediate orientations. We created a financial fund to support the Rappitenderos who have Covid-19 symptoms or the illness itself, throughout the 15 days they will have to be in quarantine. In Brazil, the fund is managed by Cruz Vermelha. Moreover, Rappi’s freight cost varies according to climate, day of the week, hour, area, distance and complexity of the order. Also, Rappi enables that clients give tips to Rappitenderos through the app. In the last weeks, the company identified a 50% increase in the percentage of people who give tips, especially during the weekends. The amounts, on average, increased 80%. In some weeks, around 50% of the orders were made with tips.