European Parliament resolution highlights power of co-ops to fix the platform economy

The European confederation of industrial and service co-operatives (CECOP) welcomed the resolution

The European Parliament stressed the role of co-operative business models in empowering platform workers in a resolution adopted on 16 September.

It says the creation of co-operatives could constitute an important instrument of the bottom-up organisation of platform work, and encourage competition between platforms. “Any EU legislative initiative should promote innovation, the creation of new business models, cooperatives, start-ups and SMEs, as well as decent jobs,” it adds.

The resolution on fair working conditions, rights and social protection for platform workers focuses on the need to improve their working conditions and identifies some of the risks they face, such as precariousness, insecurity or health and safety risks.

The law should be changed to end unfair business practices, it says, adding that co-operative legal forms could be “an important tool for the bottom-up organisation of platform work, which may also have a positive impact on internal democracy and workers’ empowerment”.

Diana Dovgan, secretary general of the European confederation of industrial and service co-operatives (CECOP) said the report is “an important first step to improve working conditions in the platform economy across EU. We need legal actions that end exploitative practices of investor driven platforms, and that encourage worker-ownership of platforms.”

The apex is calling on the European Commission to ensure that future platform work initiatives support worker-ownership of platforms and recognise the potential of co-operatives to shape a human-centred digital economy.