Dark store: Emmanuel Gregoire is confident in the outcome of the conflict with the government

The platforms (Uber, Deliveroo, Getir, etc.), their effects on the labor market and in the city, revived one of the university’s plenary meetings on the return of the Parisian left on Saturday 3 September in Paris. As for dark shops, Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris, said he was confident in the outcome of the conflict between major French cities and the government.

“We advocate innovation, but not non-regulation,” said Emmanuel Grégoire during a debate on the topic: “Platforms and dark shops: what kind of life and what kind of city do we want?” “, organized within the framework of the university for the return of the Parisian left, Saturday, September 3, at the Recollier International Reception and Exchange Center (10th arr.). The First Deputy Mayor of Paris described three elements that all of these new ventures have in common: the use of powerful algorithmic digital tools “that break the conventional value chain”; the massive availability of liquidity offered by the globalization of the economy, and the freedom of these operators from common law, labor law, rules governing public space or urban planning.

Emmanuel Gregoire, First Deputy Mayor of Paris. © JGP

Barbara Gomez, Elected (PCF) 18th arr. Paris and Olivia Polsky, Deputy Mayor for Commerce, moderated this discussion. © JGP

“Why do these groups avoid gains made possible by decades of struggle, in defiance of our social contract? – scored the chosen one. The latter described the paradox that, with rare exceptions, none of these players make a profit, and most of them even lose fabulous sums. “The economic model of these companies is based not on the profitability of their activities, but on the resale of their shares by their shareholders. Therefore, their model is based on dumping both in terms of employment and in terms of the selling prices of their products or services.

Cascading sublease of licenses

The Chosen One described the cascade of licenses or bike subleases and the unprecedented unreliability of suppliers. After the VTC, then hosting tourists and free-floating (scooters, self-service bikes), Paris is facing a fourth wave of “platformization” with dark shops and other dark kitchens. For Parisian socialists, “fast trade” is arguing about consumption patterns and interest in express deliveries, when the vast majority of the capital’s residents live less than 300 meters from a business open until 11 p.m. Emmanuel Gregoire, in this case, expressed his regret that France, which is too centralized, regulates these activities less effectively than some of our neighbors, especially those organized under the federal system, which leave this power to local authorities, which are much more reactive in what state. “It was 4 or 5 years between the advent of scooters and the adoption of the Oriented Mobility Act (LOM),” he illustrated.

Anna Hidalgo’s first deputy said he was confident that in regards to dark stores, the government would not succumb to lobbying by these operators who are trying to ensure that the opening of the collection will be enough to turn their warehouses into stores. In fact, many of them, installed in old stores, did not ask the City of Paris for the change of destination required by the Plan of Local Urbanism (PLU) in reserved areas to convert a commercial warehouse. This gives the city the opportunity to voice them, which the text prepared by the government, which will change the rules on this issue, will undermine. “Government officials first said they agreed with us, then they disagreed, then they agreed again. Whatever. I am very confident in the outcome of this case, in the face of rough lobbying from the leaders of these platforms, ”concluded the 1st deputy.

Trojan horse against social achievements

For Barbara Gomes, Elected (PKF) 18th arr. The Paris-based VTC companies are “a Trojan horse against the principle that work gives access to status and rights, paid leave, social security or retirement.” The elected official denounced the “toxic status”, believing that the solution comes through legislative measures leading to the assignment of employees of the respective platforms to the status of employees by right. Deliveroo’s recent conviction for paying Urssaf €9.7 million for hiding 2,286 delivery jobs in Ile de France between April 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 has been welcomed several times in this debate. According to Barbara Gomes, the consistency of the decisions of the French courts, which repeatedly recognized that these workers were de facto employees, prevented France from passing a law justifying, on the contrary, the possibility of not counting them as employees, as Portugal recently did.

Courier, Deliveroo.© Jgp

Barbara Gomez welcomed the city’s creation of a courier house in Barbès. Operated by CoopCycle, a federation of bicycle delivery cooperatives, it offers deliveries a place to relax as well as job search support. “50% of the couriers we accept are undocumented,” she said.

For the CFDT representative present, this debate raises the question of whether social protection should be tied to work, or rather to citizenship, “to allow for other models that truly meet consumer aspirations.” Hoshin Yousfi, taxi driver spokesperson, director of the training school, pointed out that many VTC drivers take training courses at his school to increase their income. “Uber is crushing them,” he said.

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