Delivery workers and operators in Paris: how has the pandemic transformed the way they work?

Authors: Laetitia Dablanc*, University Gustave Eiffel, Adeline heitz, HESAM University conservatoire national des arts et metiers in Paris
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: logistics, gig workers, on-demand platform work
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 15
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In times of sanitary measures, curfews, and lockdowns, logistics becomes a priority activity. Since the lockdown in France (March-May 2020) and the following various measures to combat the pandemic, several surveys and interview series (Dablanc, Heitz) were implemented in Paris with the view of characterizing logistics operators and workers’ response to the challenges.
Based on these surveys and interviews, our proposed communication will identify who urban logistics workers and operators in Paris are and what impacts had the pandemic on them, focusing on the parcel delivery industry as well as on on-demand ‘instant deliveries’. We look at operators and workers. How did operators adapt during the crisis to meet an increasing demand due to accelerated e-commerce consumption? What lessons did urban freight companies learn from this crisis? How did their workers fare? In addition, we make a focus on gig workers operating for on-demand platforms such as UberEats and Deliveroo, which gained market shares during the lockdown. Results cover workers’ socio-demographic characteristics, their geographies of work (where they live, how they come to work, their modes of transportation to deliver), and the way the pandemic has transformed their work. This topic has policy implications, accelerated by recent decisions from judges (Cour de Cassation, March 4, 2020, Paris Appeal Court October 9, 2020). These decisions will impact legislation on gig workers. Improving the status, working conditions, health benefits and remuneration of urban delivery workers is now a strong topic, including the needs for professional training and collective representation.

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