Vloerwerk supports the Radical Riders union. Demo 17/11@Gorillas
Vloerwerk has decided to support the Radical Riders. The Radical Riders are a new union of riders. It is extremely important for riders, but actually for all working people, that there is a strong movement from working people. An independent movement with guts, originating from the workers themselves, with an eye to the future instead of the past.
All beginnings are difficult, but building a union from scratch is extremely difficult. At Vloerwerk, we have been served well by focusing on victories, creative methods of struggle and a principled course in which only we workers exist. The Radical Riders have also decided to take a hard line from the start. They want to enter into conflicts with the companies, they win, and thus grow. It sounds like music to our ears.
Riders part of international wave of independent & radical workersprotests
The bicycle couriers can really say that they have a trade union movement. It is international and couriers infect each other with the struggle. From the Philippines to England, Spain, Greece…. everywhere radical, independent, grassroots unions are emerging in this rider movement. In Germany, an epic battle is underway between the anarchist FAU union and the courier companies. The couriers have achieved great victories through hard actions at the German Thuisbezorgd, Lieferando: an end to flex, real permanent contracts, and various improvements. Two companies, including Flink, scared of strikes followed Lieferando’s example. Big wins by organizing and staking! In the Netherlands, the trade union movement has been going to courts against such constructions since 2017. Thus far this has mainly resulted in a lot of money and years of work being lost.
International solidarity and inspiration was the begin; now collaboration
Gorillas decided to hit hard and sink their own ship in the process rather than respect workers. Months of strikes and large-scale solidarity actions were broken with brutal union busting. The Radical Riders emerged directly from a group of workers who organized solidarity actions at German request in June and July. After these solidarity actions, they decided to go ahead and start their own union right away!
In Germany, meanwhile, the workers had a rough sea. If you stood up for your rights, you were fired and replaced, even though several times a dismissal was forced back by the activists. They did this by blocking warehouses in addition to striking. However, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on October 7 that 350 strikers had been fired, although the exact number is doubted. This strike wave has been defeated at Gorillas. As a company, Gorillas has meanwhile sacrificed 70% of its stock value in the fight against the anarchist-inspired German couriers.
However, the battle is far from over. The Germans demand the reversal of the layoffs and demand recognition of the right to strike at European level. The Radical Riders, together with organizers from Germany, have decided to coordinate their actions in this campaign. It is already one battle, the question is whether we join in or continue to watch. The Germans want to put on their largest rider demonstration on the 15th. So on November 17th at 16:00 there is a demonstration in Amsterdam at the Gorillas headquarters. Assemble at Leidse Bosje. Help organize! Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
How do Vloerwerk and Radical Riders know eachother?
We have great faith in the power of riders. We also have great faith in the power of mutual solidarity. So if a rider has a problem with Gorillas, Flink, Thuisbezorgd or anyone else, the Radical Riders can call on Vloerwerk. On one condition. From riders, like everyone else over the years, we want solidarity to be mutual. If you want help from Vloerwerk, you have to be ready for others in return. And so join Vloerwerk (for free).
At Vloerwerk we sometimes use the term radical honesty. Well: this offer does seem like a cigar from its own box. As individuals, riders receive nothing more, but also nothing less than other workers. However, in consultation with our friends from Radical Riders, we know that for the collective that support does make a difference, so we decided to formally stand behind the Radical Riders. So that when riders consider whether to engage in a particular battle, when they weigh the bosses’ forces against their own, they don’t just feel empowered by solidarity, but know it.
For the sake of completeness, we also mention that Radical Riders and Vloerwerk also know each other well, since the Radical Riders largely originated from Vloerwerk.