On 28 September 2023, the Court of Milan issued an important judgment (No. 6979/2023) upholding an action for anti-union conduct brought by several trade union organisations against a well-known company in the food delivery sector which recently decided to close down its operations in Italy, terminating the employment of more than 4,000 delivery riders. According to the claimant trade unions, the anti-union nature of the defendant's conduct is evident not only from the fact that the company had not previously initiated the consultation procedure provided for by various provisions on "relocations" included within Law No. 234/2021, but also from the fact that it had not implemented the information and consultation procedure provided for by Law No. 223/1991 on collective dismissals. After analysing how the work was being carried out by the riders, the Court of Milan eventually came to the conclusion that they were truly subordinate employees, with the consequence that their dismissal should inevitably have been preceded by the activation of the aforementioned procedures. With this decision, the Italian judge also ordered the company to carry out these two procedures with the relevant trade unions. This decision has thus reopened the controversial issue of the qualification of the employment relationship of riders in Italy.
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