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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

Solidarity with Thiago Cortes: IWW

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

The IWW would like to express our sorrow and sympathies with the fiancé, family and friends of Thiago Cortes who died working in Dublin on Monday after being struck by a car being driven illegally and recklessly.

We wish to express our solidarity with all those who attended the march and rally in his memory held on Wednesday evening in central Dublin.

We also want to support and amplify the feelings of those who attended, not only of grief but also of anger at the injustice of the factors that endanger the lives of all delivery riders in Dublin and contributed to Thiago's death.

As well as the exploitation faced by riders from the unscrupulous and rapacious companies like Deliveroo, Just Eat and others, their physical safety is put at risk by the indifference verging on hostility on the part of Gardai, DCC road safety and other agencies that make no effort to protect delivery workers from road traffic dangers.

This indifference verging on hostility by the official agencies sets the tone for other road users and society at large to look down on delivery riders as second class road users and socially-marginalised workers. During the restrictions imposed by covid-19 control measures there has been even greater use of delivery services, by customers and restauranteurs alike.

Companies like Uber and Deliveroo are also touted as examples of the new internet-tech based "market disrupting" businesses that feed our image of a modernised 21st century economy. But rather than be greatful to the delivery riders who make all this possible through their work, they are looked down on in a way that key workers in supermarkets who have equally played their role in feeding the nation in this trying times are not.

Many riders feel that the double standards behind these attitudes are linked to them being viewed as second-class migrant labour predominantly from Brazil and other non-EU countries.

The riders and their friends and allies that demonstrated on Wednesday night wanted to protest not just against the injustice of Thiago's killing, but against the injustices they all are faced with by attitudes by employers, police, council and society at large that do not give their lives and safety equality of care and consideration.

The IWW supports them in their demands for justice for Thiago and his friends and family and for recognition of their right to safety, equality and dignity.

Towards that demand the IWW puts it to Deliveroo that they should:

* recognise unions * provide better safety equipment for riders * pay for the repatriation of Thiago's body to his family in Brazil


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