15:00 - 16:30
FEPS HQ (Hybrid)
Dark stores: Back to the Dark Ages?

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Quick-commerce is a service aimed at achieving superfast delivery from ‘dark stores’ to the consumer. And recently, they have boomed!

On 28 March, from 15:00 to 16:30, we launched two studies commissioned by FEPS and UNI Europa into the q-commerce sector, at FEPS HQ (Avenue des Arts 46, 1000, Bruxelles). We investigated three countries (Germany, Spain and the UK) and unveiled the health conditions of the employees in the sector, their job security and social rights.

These firms use worker-intensive methods to deliver impressive convenience to your door. But who pays the price? We discovered that since this business is hard to make financially sustainable, the workers and riders bear the actual costs.

This sector profits from advances in digital technology, weak labour markets, and abundant investment capital. We wanted to know what the working conditions are.

– To what extent does this sector overlap with, and differ from, the broader gig and platform economy?
– And what does it mean for EU policy-making and its enforcement?
– What can we expect for the future, as the venture capital that has funded unsustainably low delivery prices and loss-making firms is drying up?
– Is this leading to a squeeze on working conditions in order for these firms to reach profitability?
Together with experts and policymakers, we will answer these (and yours) important questions.

Among the speakers:

  • Agnes Jongerius, Member of the European Parliament, S&D group
  • László Andor, FEPS Secretary General
  • Max Uebe, Head of Unit ‘Future of Work, Youth Employment’, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
  • Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa
  • Valeria Pulignano, Professor in Sociology, KU Leuven and Principal Investigator for Fairwork Belgium 
  • Ben Wray, Researcher and coordinator of The Gig Economy Project, Brave New Europe
  • Rachel Verdin, Research fellow, University of Sussex Business School 
  • Wil Hunt, Research fellow, Digital Futures at Work (Digit) Research Centre, University of Sussex
  • Steve Rolf, Research fellow, Digital Futures at Work (Digit) Research Centre, University of Sussex
  • Frank Van Bennekom, Union Official, Young & United at the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) 
  • Stan De Spiegelaere, Director of Policy and Research at UNI Europa
  • Emirali Karadoğan, Advisor at Tez-Koop-İş Union, Turkey 

The discussion was moderated by Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, Policy Analyst on Digital, FEPS

The event took place in person at FEPS Headquarters but was also recorded and live-streamed on FEPS partners’ platforms and social media.

For more information, please contact Sophia Christodoulou at sophia.christodoulou@feps-europe.eu

Dark stores: Back to the Dark Ages?
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