Antifas' on wheels: The rebellion of Brazilian delivery workers against precariousness
They are asking for food and security against the COVID from a government that is playing deaf, but the Anti-Fascist Party Movement is determined to make itself heard.
The day Paulo Lima, aka 'Galo', turned 31, he was fired from his job because he got a flat tyre during a delivery. In other words, he wasn't thrown out, Uber simply blocked him from his application. Nothing new when you consider that the delivery guys, really essential workers in this pandemic, are as invisible as Santa Claus, someone who brings your food but you never wonder how much he earns for his deliveries because otherwise you would choke on the sushi.
"The less you earn, the more you try to deliver," the outraged delivery boy told Sarah Cozzolino from Rfi, adding that the injustice was such that he wanted to publicly denounce it and created a video that soon went viral, and a petition that was signed by 365,000 people demanding anti-Covid hygiene kits and diets for the workers.
"The applications started to put up ads saying they were protecting us," he recalled, "but I never got anything."
This was the beginning of the Anti-Fascist Delivery Movement, which yesterday, July 1st, celebrated its first general delivery strike in Brazil, despite the many obstacles that this delivery man, turned into the Che of a revolution on wheels, had to overcome.
The fast food applications for which he worked blocked him, many of his comrades turned their backs on him - "They sent me to visit Cuba," he said- because they felt humiliated because I asked for food or they supported Bolsonaro, who promised them that he would give them weapons to protect them from motorcycle robberies, said 'Galo'.
"Working hungry while carrying food on your back is torture," explained the delivery man, who has seen the number of deliveries multiply since the beginning of the pandemic while his working conditions are far from ideal.
The average monthly salary of a delivery boy for working 12 hours a day is 992 reais - about US$180 - which is below the Brazilian minimum wage, according to a study by the association Aliança Bike.
"If the industrial revolution has killed off jobs, uberization is taking away our rights," says the leader of this reparto rebellion. "Most of the time, we talk to a robot. And they block us for no reason," he says.
That's why, because the economy and those who run it are anything but fair, especially in Brazil, where since the beginning of the pandemic President Bolsonaro has shown little concern for the safety of his people, the Anti-Fascist Delivery Movement is determined to awaken consciences by making its engines roar.
"We have a fascist ruling!" Gaul cried out without any fear. "I have the impression that when an old person dies, this government counts it as one less pension to pay."
The group has no other purpose than to defend the rights of its profession. To do, in his words, "politics of the street with closed fists". A movement for "the emancipation of the workers".
Yesterday there were motorcycles stopped in Brazil. There were those who ordered their pizza and never received it, and there were also those who were aware that the act of using a smartphone to order food from home is political and has its consequences.
Those who joined the strike did not place any orders during the day yesterday. There were no deliveries, at least by the Antifascist Delivery Movement.
"The epidemic has made people aware that they need to hear and see us," he concluded.