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Uber files: EU needs clear line between irresponsible digital platforms and regular transport businesses in upcoming platform workers legislation

12 Jul 2022 · People

With recent evidence concerning Uber's unlawful business practices coming to light, IRU underlines its support for each worker's right to dignity and decent working conditions, whether employed or self-employed.

Drivers are the most important part of any successful transport operation and securing their rights, including by integration in EU Member States’ social and taxation schemes, is paramount.

Recent advancements in internet-based digital labour platform practices have shed light on a largely neglected issue: the differences that exist between diverse service providers that customers may see as competitors.

When addressing false self-employment structures set by some digital labour platforms, EU policymakers need to make a clear distinction between the types of internet-only platforms that are likely to engage in irresponsible behaviour and regular transport businesses and operators.

“Taxi, coach and truck operators, for example, have been in operation for decades and are heavily regulated at local, national and even EU levels,” said IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian.

The upcoming EU provisions on platform workers should target irresponsible digital platforms and avoid causing unintended harm to well-established transport businesses and operators by adding to their bureaucratic burden.

“While we support the legislator's intention to regulate worrisome practices, we urge lawmakers to consider existing market differences in the upcoming Parliament and Council discussions,” Raluca Marian continued.

IRU has previously adopted a position paper on the Platform Workers’ Directive, underlining its support for a cautious approach that takes into account transport operators' concerns.

“We have always sought to get the industry’s message across by engaging in transparent communication with stakeholders as the official sector-social dialogue partner designated by the European Commission to engage in dialogue with trade unions. We appreciate the opportunity to improve such industry standards and look forward to continuing dialogue,” Raluca Marian concluded.