Online platform workers deserve better

People who work for online platforms (like Uber, Deliveroo, Foodora and Amazon Mechanical Turk) deserve better than:


  • The recent EU Summit’s conclusions on ‘Digital Europe’ that highlight the “immense opportunities” for “growth and jobs” without even mentioning the precarious, low-paid employment without rights on offer on online platforms;
  • The European Commission not responding to European Parliament demands to regulate labour and social rights in a digital Europe;

says the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).


Instead, the ETUC demands:


  • European law to regulate working conditions for online platforms, and to ensure that online platforms employers take responsibility for those they employ (and who they often unfairly treat as selfemployed)
  • The Commission to go ahead with a proposal for a revision of the Written Statement Directive to cover online platforms (the Directive obliges employers to give workers a statement of their working conditions).


In a resolution adopted this week, European trade unions state: “Online platforms advertise greater freedom, whereas in reality the workers report extreme levels of control, low-skilled work, low pay, no opportunity to negotiate wages, precarious working conditions and no health and safety protections.” 


Many platform workers are not self-employed, even though several online platforms treat them as self-employed,” said ETUC Confederal Secretary Thiébaut Weber. “Instead, pay, working conditions and intellectual property are dictated by the platform. EU regulation is needed to put a stop to bogus self-employment on online platforms, and to get the platforms to take their responsibility as employers.”


The Written Statement Directive needs to be revised to cover online platforms,” said ETUC Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch, “not only to give workers a statement of their working conditions, but also to give them basic employment rights. I urge the European Commission to go full steam ahead with a thorough revision of a Directive that needs updating to cover modern, dodgy employment practices.”