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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

European Parliament strongly backs legal rights for digital platform workers

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By Euronews

In this April 28, 2021, file photo, an Uber Eats delivery person rides a bicycle while delivering food

Delivering our food come rain or shine and getting us around whenever we call them.

The conditions for so called platform workers are coming under increasing scrutiny.

Members of the European Parliament have voted overwhelmingly to demand that the EU ensures people working for ride-sharing and food delivery app have proper holidays, healthcare and protected rights.

Many have no insurance or safety nets if they are taken ill or are unable to work.

“There are now 23 million people working for these platforms,” Tilly Metz, a Green MEP from Luxembourg, told Euronews.

“We need clear regulation to protect them” she said. “We must not to consider them as another class of worker. They should have the same rights. We should not start having differences in the European Union by introducing a status where you are neither self employed nor an employee.”

Earlier in September, a Dutch court ruled that Uber drivers are employees of the company and deserve the relevant rights.

In May, Uber released a statement saying forcing them to take drivers on as employees would be a “giant tradeoff”.

The statement continued that it would amount to “taking away virtually all aspects of the flexibility that led many app-based workers to choose this type of work in the first place”.

The European Parliament’s vote means the European Commission will put out together a directive on this issue.

Ludovic Voet is the Confederal Secretary for the European Trade Union Confederation and told Euronews it is important to get this right.

“For us there is nothing innovative in paying people below the minimum wage, without social protection and labour rights,” he said.

“Indeed it is also the people who are the most in need of income that are working for these platforms. So a lot of young people entering the labour market but also the most precarious — those who have seen unemployment for a long time.”

These workers may see a major shift in their rights in the EU.

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