Response regarding our “Bread and Roses” event

Our Bread and Roses event prompted feedback, which asked about the event’s linkage to the struggles of the feminist movement. The feminist movement has used the Bread and Roses symbolism in various historical struggles for women’s rights. The writer of the feedback asks in what way our event is connected to the struggles of the women’s rights movement and why we have not explicated the linkage. We thank the writer for their support and for their important observation. Hence we want to clarify our stance and use of the feminist symbolism.

We have deliberately chosen to use the Breade and Roses theme in our campaign, because we are not only demanding better pay (“bread”) as well as appreciation and better working conditions (“roses”), but also in order to emphasize that many of the couriers are women (as is typical for underpaid service work), non-binary or belonging to a minority. It is true, that most the couriers are men, but many of them are in an othered position for example, because they have not Finnish citizenship or are not entitled to Finnish social security. With the feminist theme we want to highlight the linkages between different struggles and the need for co-operation and alliances between these. In precarious work, where most of the workers are in a very vulnerable position as they work without any security, intersectional differences become even more pronounced.

The links to the struggles of the feminist movement shows also in the way we operate: the problems of courier work have not been addressed by anybody else, so we have done it by ourselves from the beginning. In our campaign work, we have attempted to achieve equality between all actors, listened to every participant and tried to give every interested person a chance to contribute in a way that suits them best. We have sought to emphasize that experiences are personal and embodied in contrast to talk that is detached from actors.

Our campaign to reverse pay cuts and improve working conditions of precarious couriers and car drivers can be truly successful only in combination with other struggles for equality, because we represent a diverse group of people and want to be acknowledged as such.

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