Report for the final conference of the project "Workers' participation - a key to fair digitalisation" by Eckhard Voss of Wilke, Maack & Partners. Available in English, French, Polish, Spanish and Italian.
Commission President Juncker's State of the Union speech is due to take place on Wednesday 12 September 2018, and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) urges him to deliver strong proposals on the future of Europe, to restore social justice, ahead of the EU elections.
ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini calls for a wide European alliance between parties, politicians, social partners and civil society organisations, to support democratic values and tackle populism, nationalism and racism.
A new framework agreement on the platform economy in Denmark will establish a ‘sharing economy council’, where the social partners will work with government and experts to define fair employment conditions in the sector.
LO-Denmark has welcomed the deal, involving the Danish government and three political parties, which builds on earlier trade union proposals. It means digital platforms will have to report automatically to Danish tax authorities. The government will invest 10 million DKK in tax control measures targeting platform companies.
The General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation Luca Visentini, the General Secretaries of the Italian trade unions CGIL, CISL and UIL – Susanna Camusso, Annamaria Furlan and Carmelo Barbagallo – met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome today.
Four global mega trends that are radically changing the world of work – decarbonisation, digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change - cannot simply be left to the market and will bring changes that need to be anticipated and managed together, warn the European Trade Union Confederation and Institute (ETUC and ETUI).
A landmark agreement between Danish cleaning services digital platform Hilfr and the United Federation of Danish Workers (3F) takes a ground-breaking step towards safeguarding the rights of online workers – guaranteeing the same conditions as elsewhere on the Danish labour market.
The one-year ‘trial’ agreement – in force from 1 August – covers pensions and sickness benefits, holiday pay and collectively agreed wages. 3F President Per Christensen hopes in future to include unemployment benefits, training and education.
With the support of Austrian transport and services union vida, cyclists working for restaurant delivery service Foodora in Vienna have set up a works council (Betriebsrat), as a first step towards bargaining for better working conditions.
The move is another milestone in trade union organisation in the digital economy: it is one of the first works councils within an app- or platform-based business.
Today’s proposal by the European Commission to promote fairness and transparency for users of online marketplaces is a necessary step, but totally fails to protect workers who rely on online platforms for their livelihoods.
According to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the measure falls short by limiting regulation of unfair practices to shopping platforms offering goods and services, such as Amazon or eBay, and search engines.
Responding favourably to the European Commission’s proposal today for a 3% minimum tax on revenues of large digital companies such as the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the ETUC calls on the EU and all Member States to ensure that “digital value” is taxed where it is created.
Responding today to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, welcomed some important improvements, although this reform is not the game-changer unions needed or expected.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled today that Uber is a transport service provider and not merely a smartphone application. The European Trade Union Confederation warmly welcomes this logical judgement.
According to the CJEU, this means “Member States can therefore regulate the conditions for providing that service”.
The Workers Participation and Company policy committee
The so far Participants of the project “workers participation: the key to fair digitalisation”
For information to the ETUC Member Organisations
Project: Workers Participation: The key to fair digitalisation
Cluster Seminar, Madrid
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).
Commenting on the European Commission Work Programme 2018, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, said
“We broadly welcome the work programme, especially the much-needed social fairness package. Whether this package will actually go far enough to improve social fairness for the majority of working people remains to be seen in the proposals when they are published.”
"Starting a European Dialogue on the Platform Economy": Brussels, 23 January 2018
The goal of the event is to discuss new business models for operators of digital platforms and new approaches to policy making with experts, workers, politicians and trade unionists, with a view to shape fair work in a digital economy.
Commenting on European Commission’s announcement today on the Written Statement Directive, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said
“The ETUC welcomes the European Commission taking forward its proposal for a revision of the Written Statement Directive. The European Commission’s proposals are a decent basis for discussion. The ETUC has engaged constructively from the outset in this debate, and will be warning the Commission to keep clear of time-wasting by anyone who wants to kill this proposal.
The ÖGBL trade union in Luxembourg has taken a stand against increased prices for ‘real’ bank services, hitting elderly or disabled people who find it hard to adapt to online banking.
“Older people who have difficulties using computers and the internet have to go in person to the bank and pay all these fees," protested ÖGBL executive member Carlos Pereira. "On top of that, there is no uniform system. Each bank asks for a different fee and nobody has a complete list of the fees being charged by the banks and the post office."
Digitalisation, robotisation and the gig economy are a rapidly evolving challenge for governments and businesses, as well as workers and trade unions. Society will have to adapt to this unstoppable trend, and unions are fighting to defend members’ rights and conditions.
In Denmark, the government and social partners are cooperating in guiding these labour market trends through a newly established ‘Disruption Council’.
The European Parliament on 15 June 2017 adopted two important reports on online platforms and the collaborative economy. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) worked closely with MEPs to make sure that trade union demands were taken on board.
The Parliament’s message stresses trade unions’ concerns on safeguarding workers’ rights in the digital economy, calling on the European Commission and/or Member States:
Over 400 trade union leaders from all over Europe at the ETUC Mid-term Conference in Rome today agreed that "this is the moment for trade unions to be more active than ever in efforts to manage globalisation, digitalisation and climate action to ensure that working people are not left on the scrap heap".
Trade unions and management at the French bank Crédit Agricole have agreed a three-year national framework on workers’ right to be offline, which should be adapted and implemented through negotiations at local level.
The deal is based on a guide prepared by trade union representatives, entitled ‘the right to be offline in the branches of the regional offices of Crédit Agricole’, providing concrete examples of the issues to be dealt with.
It sets down four general principles:
This is a call for a subcontractor to provide expertise as part of the implementation of the ETUC project on “Digitalisation and work: the role of information, consultation and board-level representation in the light of opportunities and risks”.
Deadline for submission of bids: 16 January 2017.