The Court of Florence, in a decree published on 9 February 2021, noted that the legitimacy to bring proceedings for the repression of anti-union conduct provided for by Art. 28 of the Workers’ Statute cannot be applied to the riders’ trade unions since they are not employees.

Facts of the case

In this case, the three CGIL regional organisations appealed against a food delivery company, complaining of its anti-union conduct.

The anti-union conduct, according to the plaintiff unions, was based on the company applying a new collective agreement for the sector signed by Assodelivery (food delivery industry association) with Ugl riders. The contract, had been qualified as a “pirate contract“, by the unions, and the Ministry of Labour since it was signed with a compliant union and lacked the necessary representation requirement.

The Court’s decision

According to the Court, art. 28 of the Workers’ Statute – which entitles the regional branches of national trade unions to take legal action if the employer engages in conduct to prevent or limit the exercise of trade union freedom and activity – is a guarantee recognised within employment relationships. It cannot be applied to trade union organisations of self-employed or quasi self-employed persons.

In the judge’s opinion, the protections of art. 28 of the Workers’ Statute do not apply to riders, as they are not employees but, at most, self-employed workers to whom only the substantive rules on employee salary and contract terms are applicable.

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