Italy court rules Uber food delivery riders were exploited

Legal Analysis

A court in Milan has ordered the appointment of a judicial administrator to oversee Uber Italy for one year after determining the company’s food delivery service exploited workers, according to Italian news reports.

The decision on Friday came amid an ongoing investigation into Uber’s activities in Italy.

Italian news agency ANSA quoted the court saying that Uber’s treatment of delivery workers was similar to the “caporalato” system used by organized crime groups to pay desperate migrants a pittance to do farm or construction work off the books.

In a statement carried by ANSA, Uber said it condemned “every form of capolarato” and complies with Italian laws. Uber said it would “continue working to be a true, long-term partner in Italy.”

Uber has faced opposition before in Italy. The company is only allowed to offer its higher-end Uber Black service after Italy’s taxi lobby protested the ride-sharing service in 2017.

The Italian General Confederation of Labor vowed to stand by the food delivery riders and said the issue of inadequate pay showed “we are in the presence of a digital caporalato.”

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