For Stuart, a subsidiary of La Poste accused of undercover work, the prosecutor demands the maximum sentence

Delivery of Stuart, in Paris, on September 16, 2022.

This is the umpteenth test of a delivery platform. But it has a smell of novelty because it is the first time that it has questioned a company that is now 100% owned by a public group. Devant le tribunal judiciaire de Paris, septembre 15, 16, 22 et 23, l’entreprise Stuart, subsidiary of La Poste implantée dans six pays et 125 villes, et son elder director, Benjamin Chemla, devaient répondre des faits de travail dissimulé en France. Ex-Chemla partner Clément Benoît, founder of the now-defunct meal delivery platform Resto In, also appeared.

Stuart is suspected of having a working relationship with his couriers when they were officially self-employed. The events date back to 2015 and 2016. At that time, Mr. Chemla launched Stuart in the hope of “conquer Europe” by offering to small merchants to deliver packaged meals to their customers, facing fierce competition from giant Amazon. In any case, this is the story told by the defendants at trial.

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At the hearing, Chemla wants to distinguish herself from platforms like Deliveroo, which was sentenced in July for similar acts of undercover work. “Stuart has nothing to do with this type of platform”, assures the thirty. stuart is ” different “insist, because it is “a french model” and unlike platforms that connect an individual and a delivery person, Stuart connects “a manager who is none other than Franprix or Pizza Hut, and a professional who wants to be delivered ».

An undermined “Free” model

Throughout the process, the defendants tried to defend the technological nature of the platform, “a computer transmission tool” that guarantees the independence of the distributors thanks to the mode “free” of the application, which allows self-entrepreneurs to choose their shopping area and their hours.

A demonstration that did not seem to convince the court. According to the testimonies of couriers read at the hearing, Stuart actually appeared to be the main payer of the couriers: call to order after delays in delivery, deactivation of the account in case of repeated denial of the trip, training sessions given with the aim of instilling ” behaviour ” to adopt…

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One of the delivery men, who still works for the platform, came to testify at the hearing. He mentioned in particular the traffic directives or even the cancellations of races imposed by the platform. His story distorted the model. “free” behind which Mr. Chemla took refuge: the messenger must actually honor two-thirds of the races that are proposed to you under penalty of receiving a warning, and being disconnected from the network after two warnings.

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