Worker co-ops welcome European Parliament’s position on platform work

The correct classification of platform workers will ensure level playing field and fair competition for co-operative platforms, says Cecop

The European Parliament has adoped a negotiating mandate for talks on measures to improve conditions for workers on digital labour platforms.

MEPs yesterday (2 February) approved a report from its Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), which sets its negotiating position, with measures to combat false self-employment in platform work, human oversight on all decisions affecting working conditions, and a requirement for platforms to share more information with national authorities.

The report was passed with 376 votes in favour, 212 against and 15 abstentions.

The European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives (Cecop) welcomed the vote as “a strong step forward towards a more level playing field for businesses and better working conditions for workers”.

The text recognises co-ops and calls on the EU member states to “protect and promote co-operative undertakings”, Cecop noted, and includes an inclusive definition of workers’ representatives, which may also cover worker-owned co-operatives.

Related: Cecop welcomes EU progress towards the regulation of platform work

Cecop also welcomed a provision to ensure a fair classification of platform workers, adding that “if all platforms correctly define the status of their workers, this will ensure level playing field and fair competition for co-operative platforms”.

“We defend the workers, we defend the good employers and fair competition” said report author MEP Elisabetta Gualmini (S&D, Italy), during the plenary session of the European Parliament.

The European Commission estimates that 28 million people in the EU work through digital labour platforms, and this number will reach 43 million by 2025.

The vote gives EMPL a mandate to negotiate with the European Council, as part of the next steps towards the adoption of the directive.