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 Protections for delivery riders, taxi drivers and carers 

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The overwhelming majority of EU member states have been held back in bringing in protections for delivery riders, taxi drivers and carers among others.

Millions of workers will continue to be forced into false self-employment after a small number of national governments torpedoed the chance to find a deal on the platform work directive.

Exactly 799 days after the Commission proposal, representatives of the French, German, Greek and Estonian governments vetoed the agreement found in trilogue negotiations between the EU institutions last week.

The 23 countries who voted in favour should not delay but instead work with trade unions and take action at the national level to end the scandal of bogus self-employment.

The Commission cannot ignore existing loopholes just because this Directive has been prevented from moving forward. It must follow through on its responsibilities and ensure that all workers, including platform workers, are protected under EU employment law.

Corporate lobby links

The directive was badly needed to stop millions of workers being wrongly classified as self-employed, which allows platform companies to avoid paying the minimum wage, holiday or sick pay, and social security contributions.

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The directive also would have finally brought transparency to the use of algorithmic management systems, which have been used to penalise workers who take part in trade union activity.

The French government’s consistent opposition to the directive was put in context by the scandal which revealed the company’s connections with the French president.

It was also revealed that an advisor to FDP, the party which has led opposition to the directive within Germany’s coalition government, works as a lobbyist for a delivery platform.

Reacting to today’s development, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:

“The failure to deliver on the promised platform work directive doesn’t postpone the urgency of the need for action. The Commission and member states must now take action to avoid leaving millions of hardworking people open to exploitation.

“Today progress on even the weakest rules possible has been stopped by governments with well-documented links to platform lobbyists.

“The millionaire tech bros whose exploitative business model has been protected today shouldn’t celebrate too long.

“Trade unions will continue to organise their workers, expose their unlawful practices in national courts and build support for a strong platform work directive.

“Any platform lobby claiming this Directive will lead to massive reclassification of genuine self-employed was protecting their profits. They know full well they will not be able to rebut the legal presumption based on a national definition of worker.

“This shows that implementing the presumption of the employment relationship and the reversal of the burden of proof at the national level is more urgent than ever.

“It’s high time for these 23 constructive governments to stick to their word and convert the missed try of today.”

The ETUC is the voice of workers and represents 45 million members from 93 trade union organisations in 41 European countries, plus 10 European Trade Union Federations.
The ETUC is also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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