A win for workers: Parliament faces down corporate lobbies over rights
Today, MEPs voted to save the deal on platform workers’ rights. The agreement which reclassifies many gig economy workers as employees will now be negotiated between the European Parliament and the Council.
Left MEP Leïla Chaibi (La France Insoumise) reacts: “We are coming out of months of fierce negotiations on this proposal for a directive. Lobbyists from Uber, Deliveroo and their allies worked until the 11th hour to undermine the directive, and even tried to get a deal that was worse for workers than the status quo. Thanks to platform workers mobilising and the hard work convincing MEPs across the political spectrum, this proposal is balanced and good. We scored a new victory with an ambitious proposal, in favour of workers, a rarity in the European Union.”
Today, over 28 million people in the EU work through digital labour platforms. This new classification, which the European Commission estimates would affect up to 5.5 million people, would give these people access to basic rights such as sick pay, parental leave and holiday pay. Workers would also have the right to a minimum wage (where it exists), collective bargaining, working time provisions and health protection.
Those who are genuinely self-employed would remain independent workers.
Negotiations have been dogged by corporate interests from the beginning with last year’s Uber Files revelations highlighting the extent of the company’s lobbying network in Brussels’ corridors of power. But the tenacity of workers, trade unions and activists means the negotiating position reached by the Parliament is a good starting point.
The European Council has not yet agreed its negotiation position. In December 2022, the Council failed to reach the majority it needed to advance negotiations. Now all eyes are on the Swedish Presidency to see if they can broker a deal.
The next meeting of employment and social policy ministers will be on 13 March. The agenda is still to be determined.
This victory is the beginning of a long battle. The Left is ready, ready to deliver rights. Sign our petition to support platform workers’ rights. For more information about the directive and what is at stake watch our video.
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- La France Insoumise