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Delivery companies unveil labor deal with Italian far-right union

A coalition of food-delivery companies on Wednesday unveiled a deal with a far-right-affiliated Ital..



A coalition of food-delivery companies on Wednesday unveiled a deal with a far-right-affiliated Italian union, pushing through their version of employee protection for gig workers as an alternative to classifying them as employees.

The companies, which include Uber, Deliveroo, Glovo, JustEat and others, believe their approach to labor relations — not directly employing delivery workers but providing them with a minimum wage and bonuses — will help avoid a 2019 law that could force them to grant more rights and benefits to delivery workers than they would like.

“This is an important step forward which shows that it is possible to increase the security of self-employed workers in the EU,” said Matteo Sarzana, the general manager of Deliveroo Italy and the president of Assodelivery, a lobby group representing delivery companies.

The agreement, seen by POLITICO, was signed between the coalition, named Assodelivery, and the General Union of Labor (UGL), which the companies hailed as the first between a union and the food delivery industry.

The agreement pushes for what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi described as a “third way” for workers, whereby workers are classified as self-employed, but are provided with benefits like an hourly wage.

“This is going to be the first collective agreement that deprives workers of rights” — Valerio De Stefano, professor of labor law at the University of Leuven

“It validates flexible work, which is a key element, and what [delivery workers] are looking for. Secondly, it gives them more social rights, which companies like ourselves are willing to pay for,” Glovo Co-founder Sacha Michaud said in an interview.

A spokesperson for Uber called the deal “an important step forward for the industry.”

The agreement comes during the coronavirus pandemic, which exposed gig workers to high health risks and prompted lawmakers to call for stronger protections for precarious employment.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who leads the ruling 5Star Movement party, prioritized the working conditions of food delivery workers when he was labor minister.

As a result, last year the government adopted a law that gives riders basic protections including sick leave and social security while still categorizing them as autonomous workers. Under the law, delivery companies have 12 months (which would end in November), to agree on a contract with workers representatives. If theres no agreement, the labor ministry would step in to set further conditions including an hourly wage.

The delivery companies hope their agreement with UGL — a right-leaning organization whose chief backed a far-right grouping in last years European Parliament election — will preclude the government from stepping in.

The agreement would grant workers a minimum €10 gross hourly wage, bonuses for working at night and in bad weather conditions, safety equipment and insurance for damages. The platforms also pledge to keep their ranking systems transparent, and to not punish couriers for not accepting jobs.

Who speaks for workers?

Italys other unions and critics think the companies are sidestepping their obligations.

“This is going to be the first collective agreement that deprives workers of rights,” said Valerio De Stefano, a professor of labor law at the University of Leuven.

De Stefano called it a “pirate” agreement, as it has been done with a smaller union which is not representative enough. “This doesnt bring legal certainty. If [Assodelivery] want it, they should negotiate with representative unions,” De Stefano said.

UGLs status as a representative union could decide if the agreement is legitimate. The law says “the comparatively most representative trade unions and employers organizations” can reach an agreement. While delivery companies believe UGL qualifies, the other unions dont.

Deliveroo is one of the food-delivery firms included in the coalition | Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

UGL is not one of Italys three big unions: the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), Italian Confederation of Workers Trade Unions (CISL) and Italian Union of Labour (UIL). None of the three have an agreement with delivery companies (though Di Maio tried and failed to broker one between CGIL, the largest, and Assodelivery).

UGL says it has 2 million members, but it is unclear how many are food delivery workers. The union did not respond to POLITICOs request for comment.

The union also has far-right affiliations that further isolate it from other unions and labor activists. UGLs predecessor CISNAL was close to Italys neofascist Italian Social Movement.

Today UGL has close ties to the far-right League party. Its former Deputy Secretary-General, Claudio Durigon, was a former deputy labor minister and member of the League, while its current Secretary-General, Paolo Capone, supported the party, which belongs to the far-right Identity and Democracy European Parliament group, in last years EU elections, pushing to strip Brussels of its competences.

The companies are not fazed by UGLs politics.

“I hope the facts are there. So at the end of the day, it can be right or left. But what weve agreed is a good starting point,” said Glovos Michaud. He added that UGL has been actively engaging with riders throughout the negotiations.

Whose agreement?

CGIL maintains that riders should be treated as employees and refuses to negotiate any collective Read More – Source

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Spain’s competition watchdog opens disciplinary case against Google



Spain’s competition watchdog, the ‘Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia’ (CNMC) has opened a disciplinary case against Google for alleged anti-competitive practices affecting publishers and Spanish news agencies, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

CNMC said it was investigating whether Google had abused its dominant position in the Spanish market. The proceedings involve Google LLC, Google Ireland Ltd, Google Spain, SL., and the overall parent company Alphabet Inc.

The alleged practices also include distorting free competition and imposing unfair conditions on press publishers and Spanish news agencies, CNMC said.

The watchdog’s investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO).

CNMC will investigate the case over the next 18 months, during which both sides can present their arguments.

According to RTVE, Spain’s national broadcaster, Google will analyse the file and respond to the ‘doubts’ of the CNMC. They said that Google ‘works constructively with publishers in Spain and Europe’ and would ‘need time to analyse the details … as the nature of the claims is still not clear’.

It is not the first action by the Spanish competition regulator against Google, nor the first in which its dominant position in the media sector stands out. In 2021, CNMC already warned that this company and another technology giant, Amazon, monopolised 70% of internet advertising in Spain.

Other lawsuits in the Netherlands and the UK have previously accused the technology company of abusing its dominance in the digital advertising market to harm its competitors. France also fined Google in 2021 for not negotiating in good faith compensation for the media for using its news content.


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How does technology affect reading and writing?



Technology has dramatically changed the way we read and write in the 21st century. From e-books and online articles to social media and instant messaging, technology has made reading and writing more accessible and convenient. However, it has also brought about new challenges and concerns.

One of the biggest benefits of technology is the increased access to information. With just a few clicks, people can access an endless supply of books, articles, and other written materials from all over the world. This has made reading and writing more accessible for people who may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past. It has also allowed for greater collaboration, as people can now share their writing and receive feedback from a global audience.

Technology has also made writing and reading more interactive. Social media and blogs have made it possible for people to engage with written content in real-time, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others. This has led to a more dynamic and engaged reading and writing community, with people able to communicate and connect with each other in new and meaningful ways.

However, there are also concerns about how technology is affecting our ability to read and write. One of the biggest concerns is the decline of attention span. With so much information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and absorb what we are reading. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on longer written works, and are instead drawn to shorter, more bite-sized pieces of content.

Additionally, technology has led to an increase in informal writing. The widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging has led to the widespread use of shorthand and abbreviations. This has created concerns about the impact it may have on people’s writing skills, as well as the way they communicate with others.

Another concern is the rise of “fake news.” With the ease of publishing content online, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources. This has led to a decline in trust in the media, and has created a need for critical thinking and media literacy skills.

Despite these concerns, technology has also provided new opportunities for writing and reading. E-books and online platforms have made it easier for people to self-publish their work, giving them greater control over the distribution and promotion of their writing. This has created a more democratized publishing industry, and has made it possible for voices and perspectives that may have previously been excluded to be heard.

In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on reading and writing. While there are certainly challenges and concerns, the increased access to information, the ability to connect and engage with others, and the opportunities for self-publishing have all made reading and writing more accessible and dynamic. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address the challenges it presents and embrace the opportunities it provides.

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How to measure human intelligence?



Measuring human intelligence is a complex task that has been attempted by many experts and researchers over the years. Intelligence is often defined as an individual’s ability to think, reason, and solve problems. However, this definition is not enough to capture all the aspects of intelligence. In this article, we will look at some of the ways that human intelligence can be measured and evaluated.

  1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests: IQ tests are the most commonly used method of measuring intelligence. They are designed to measure an individual’s ability to solve problems, think logically, and understand abstract concepts. The results of an IQ test are expressed as an IQ score, which is a number that represents a person’s intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population.
  2. Achievement Tests: Achievement tests are designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in specific subjects such as mathematics, reading, or science. These tests can be a good indicator of a person’s intelligence in a particular subject area and are often used in schools and colleges to assess students’ abilities.
  3. Neuropsychological Tests: Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate the functioning of the brain and nervous system. These tests can be used to diagnose neurological disorders, measure cognitive abilities, and determine the impact of injury or illness on a person’s cognitive abilities.
  4. Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental abilities such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s potential for learning and development.
  5. Behavioral Assessment: Behavioral assessment involves evaluating an individual’s behavior, including their social skills, emotional regulation, and communication abilities. This type of assessment can be useful in identifying areas where an individual may need support or intervention.
  6. Performance-Based Tests: Performance-based tests are designed to measure an individual’s abilities in real-world tasks and activities. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s practical intelligence and can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.

It is important to note that no single method of measuring intelligence is perfect and each has its own strengths and limitations. Additionally, the results of intelligence tests can be influenced by many factors such as cultural background, education, and experience. As a result, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence.

In conclusion, measuring human intelligence is a complex task that involves evaluating a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and performance-based abilities. While intelligence tests can provide valuable information about a person’s intellectual abilities, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence. By using a combination of tests, experts and researchers can get a more complete picture of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential for learning and development.

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