The international community is in a state of emergency due to the pandemic. But the same is not true of capitalism, which, in the bleak times we are living, is finding the tools to reproduce and over-accumulate capital, usurping more intensively the collective labor force. Hundreds of businesses may have closed due to state of emergency prevention measures to prevent the spread of the virus, but this has not stopped the flow of their production. The bosses weapon against the intensity of the emergency is called e-shopping with employees being a consumable force to save profits.
At this juncture, the key role is played by couriers, an already degraded industry that faces constant risk (accidents at work, intensification of working conditions etc). The closing of the stores and the demand for their services via e-shopping, in fact imposes on the couriers to shoulder the entire burden of carrying the industry. Dozens of complaints indicate the increase in the profits of courier companies during this period, the intensity of class exploitation as the volume of work they are forced to cope with is multiplied as they are not provided with any individual measures of hygienic protection or care.
Employee couriers are now being blackmailed into rescuing their bosses. They are constantly exposed to the possibility of getting sick as they come in contact with hundreds of people every day, without being given any protective measures. They are called upon to increase work hours and delivery speed, resulting in the multiplication of exposure to possible work accidents. They are the sole structural factor contributing to the increase in their bosses’ profits, while their wages remain low and they are forced to pay for their own protective gear and maintenance of their vehicles.
During this period, when prevention and repression measures lead to dozens of people belonging to vulnerable groups being further excluded, courier workers support those who are unable to travel to meet their basic needs. This situation, however, is fast becoming a consumable for saving the bosses profits. And the responsibility is not just in the hands of the state and capitalists. It also belongs to each of us, who, based on social solidarity and class consciousness, must prioritize our needs and not contribute to the intensification of the workers’ situation.
Class exploitation will come at a cost
Against the intensification of class exploitation, we claim full responsibility for the following action. On the evening of Sunday, April 5th, we set fire to a Speedex van and an ACS van, in front of the companies’ branches on Agiou Dimitriou Street in Thessaloniki. We are breaking the ban and in practice supporting the daily struggle of the courier workers to meet social needs. A struggle in which they are not only exposed to death by the state and the bosses, but also to the lack of class consciousness of a section of society that ignores the position in which they find themselves. We demand that the work of the courier companies be halted immediately, while maintaining a secure workforce that can truly serve vulnerable groups. Because if you don’t close them, we will close them for you.
No one alone against class violence and exploitation for the profits of the bosses.
Front of Class Solidarity-Proletarian Base Nuclei
(via Athens Indymedia, translated into English by Anarchists Worldwide)