EPSU participates in ETUI conference on platform workers

ETUI platform worker seminar 17 February 2022

(3 March 2022) On February 17, EPSU took part in ETUI’s conference on ‘Working conditions in the platform economy’.

The first panel was introduced by ETUI researchers, who presented the key findings from the 2021 ETUI Internet and Platform Survey conducted in fourteen EU countries. The aim of the survey and research was to get an extensive overview of working conditions and the more general framework of platform work. The following panels discussed the future of the platform economy and the new proposal for a Directive of the European Commission, aimed to improve working conditions in the sector. Throughout the panels it became clear that even though platform work is increasingly becoming part of our lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, its workers are not only inadequately paid but are also facing severe risks physically and mentally. The panelists argued that the Directive is an important first step for the recognition of platform workers but is still lacking ambition to fundamentally change working conditions in the platform economy. It shows that the need to better protect platform workers is as urgent as ever.

The conference made clear that the need to regulate platform work is not only of statistical importance but should also be a political priority in an increasingly digitalised world. Further, the ETUI survey emphasises the importance to also listen to the workers who are directly affected by the reclassification of platform work and to make their voices heard in policy decisions on a European level. Even in platforms with contracts there is still a lot of unpaid labour, as one of the speakers pointed out. Labour rights should be ensured to all those who are performing work in presence of algorithmic management.

The conference was an important contribution to expanding knowledge about platform work, both for policy makers and the public, to ensure a fundamental protection of its workers in a long term. The research done by ETUI is therefore another step towards better regulation of platform work

See the following links for more information and the recording of the event and EPSU’s statement on why the EU needs to regulate platform work

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