Companies in the gig economy or the small job economy are trying to close deals directly with workers in order to avoid possible laws forcing them to treat them as workers. An agreement signed in Italy in September that maintains independent status Drivers who increase their hourly rate could become the model for companies in other European countries. These efforts, which are neither unique nor specific to Europe, follow a series of judgments that raise questions about the rights of delivery drivers.
For example, in the UK, Uber has appealed a ruling that drivers using its app are actually employees. The British decision gave the self-employed the right to do so social benefits, such as paid vacation or insurance. According to Uber, such a change could lead to higher labor costs – costs the company couldn’t afford. Companies that employ delivery drivers have problems with this profit logic versus the rights of their own workers.
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Moreover, if the UK were the only country tending to condemn gig economy practices, little concern would arise. The problem is that European countries have apparently agreed to work for more workers’ rights in the gig economy. Another illustrative example: The Swiss courts recently forced Uber Eats to hire employees who are no longer self-employed in the Geneva area. A judicial will that is consistent with that Expectations the drivers themselves, who regularly demand more rights and respect during strikes and demonstrations. In the Netherlands this summer, several drivers asked Uber to demonstrate how its application’s algorithms deal with drivers behind the scenes.
One might think that this dynamic will ultimately lead to a greater integration of benefits into the model of Uber and its competitors. One would think that at this time of a global pandemic where drivers have suffered badly from the closings of restaurants and places of socialization, the proof is making their lives easier and fulfilling their desires.
Instead, companies – Uber is only one of the leading ones – are campaigning for a recently signed labor agreement with a small right-wing union in Italy as an alternative to legislation for their freelance workers. In defense, Uber and its competitors point to a Increased costs, less flexibility in schedules, the desire of drivers to remain independent and the loss of jobs firmly. The typical example remains the Geneva case, where the court ruling resulted in the official recruitment of 300 employees while 1,000 others lost their jobs. To avoid such situations, but also to preserve its model based on illusory autonomy and flexibility, Uber is now defending this agreement reached in Italy in September, which it hopes can be a model for other European countries.
This agreement, which affects both Uber and Deliveroo or JustEat, is a beneficial compromise for businesses. It provides an hourly rate that is slightly above the minimum wage (10 euros per hour, while the minimum wage in Italy is 7 euros) however, avoid the benefits like paid vacation or sick days. The majority of the unions said the deal placed workers in a much worse position than if they were viewed as workers. However, it has been validated and is in force to this day.
Companies in the gig economy hope to find similar agreements elsewhere, particularly in France and Spain, where the demands of delivery drivers are sometimes high. In the coming weeks the Spanish government could finalize its law on the economy of odd jobs, which would force companies to treat their workers as workers. The answer is therefore ready and along the lines of the Italian agreementwith the aim of preserving the economic model of large platforms like Uber, with an emphasis on the precariousness and dependency of workers, but which depend on the concept of independence that accompanies the profession.
This phenomenon is strangely reminiscent of the case of Uber in California, who organized a referendum to circumvent the law after being forced to comply with the AB5 law during a trial. However, this AB5 law in California forced all car rental companies to do so Think of your self-employed as employeesbut it wasn’t to the company’s liking. Massachusetts had quickly joined in, suing Uber and Lyft for seeing their drivers. Uber and Lyft had finally won their case in California after a staggering cost support referendum campaign and tampering practices over their application, according to drivers. A specialty that dodges laws that they may wish to exercise on European soil.
This referendum, like the Italian agreement of September, exchanges a whole range of rights and benefits for employees for minimal concessions. However, the agreement in Italy goes a little further than the California referendum in that it provides collective bargaining for the self-employed. But is that enough? The argument of “flexibility” put forward by Uber, Deliveroo or Glovo has so far been well documented, dismantled and proven to be illusory. The working conditions of the deliverers are just as important and clearly show the urgency of a model change. In a dilemma between performance, efficiency and social protection, labor law rhymes with mass layoffs for the big platforms of the gig economy. A reality that is not that binary, however Delivery workers do not necessarily want to get rid of the independence and flexibility that come from the job they do, but rather the practices and the lack of consideration that go with them.