German and Swedish unions unite to defend crowdworkers

Unionen in Sweden and IG Metall in Germany have agreed to work together to find ways organise the growing number of people working in isolation through online platforms.

It is estimated that some 700,000 people in Sweden are earning their living through ‘crowd-working’: selling their labour to employers via platform-based companies, a phenomenon also known as the sharing or ‘gig’ economy. Many of these online jobs are precarious and badly paid. ILO research indicates that workers suffer from lack of autonomy, constant pressure and no way of claiming their rights.

To avoid a downward spiral in working conditions and pay, trade unions are stepping up to the challenge of organising and defending such workers.

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