Ethical Deliveries - Bologna
BY KRISTIN TOUSSAINT:
"In the Italian city of Bologna, bicycle couriers delivery bread, freshly baked at local bakeries, to nearby businesses every morning. The same network of couriers deliver books from the city’s libraries and food from grocery stores to residents’ homes. Unlike other delivery platforms, businesses don’t pay a commission to be a part of the delivery service, and the riders earn about 9 euros ($10.19) an hour after taxes versus the traditional gross hourly wage of 5.5 euros ($6.23) that workers for other apps like Deliveroo or UberEats make; they also get insurance for both accidents and illnesses. This service didn’t always exist; it was a direct response to the trials of Covid-19. An economic development arm of the city brought people together—shopkeepers, students, urban planners, a union of food delivery couriers, the local library system—and interviewed them about what they needed in the pandemic, and how a business could fit into their needs. From their responses, the city helped create a platform co-op—a version of a cooperative, where workers are also part owners of a company, that uses a website, app, or some other kind of online platform to sell its services. Called Consegne Etiche (“Ethical Deliveries”), the courier platform isn’t just a delivery service. It’s a way to deepen the “social fabric” of the community;"