Platform workers and the illusion of collective rights
This article offers a review of the legal framework of collective rights for online platform workers with reference to the labour law framework cov-ering employees. It will reveal the gulf between the collective rights pro-tected by labour laws in the social realm and those which the economic order is timidly and imperfectly attempting to duplicate in favour of plat-form workers. This allows for an examination of the issues surrounding eligibility for collectively negotiated, fundamental workers’ rights as well as the necessary safeguards to ensure their application.
Keywords: platform workers, labour law, employment law, collective rights, employment rights.
Attitudes to work and union strategies in the platform economy: study of Italian delivery riders
This article presents the findings of a qualitative study carried out in Italy among delivery riders working for food delivery platforms, as well as trade union actors. Attention was focussed on two groups of delivery workers: members of a traditional union organisation, the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL, General Italian Labour Confederation) and those active in the self-organised collective Riders Union Bologne (RUB). Following an analysis of the effects of the functioning of the platforms on the ways in which the workers perceive, analyse and even criticize their work, this article joins the debate on the revival of unionism by presenting the strategies deployed locally by Italian activists and union members.
Keywords: platform workers, Italy, delivery riders, union revival, union, self-organized collective.
An employee just like any other? The CGT and the challenge of unionizing independent workers on food delivery platforms
This article looks at the ways in which historical union organizations are tackling the emergence, starting in the mid-2010s, of digital “match-making” platforms which rely on large numbers of workers who are legally self-employed but managed remotely using online applications. Through a study of the CGT’s experience of unionizing meal delivery platform workers, we show how the recruitment of these workers has contributed to accelerating doctrinal changes at the organization, marked by the return
of the figure of the “worker” to its discourse. We then highlight dilemmas across the confederation regarding the organization of these delivery workers, between experimentation and registration within existing struc-tures. Finally, we show the difficulties faced by the CGT, in a sector previ-ously devoid of union rights and negotiation mechanisms, to achieve recognition of its legitimacy to represent platform workers.
Keywords: platform workers, France, unionization, autoentrepreneurs, self-employed, worker.
Activism in the platform economy. Attitudes to collective action and unionism among activist workers
This article looks at attitudes to collective action and unionism among de-livery riders working for digital platforms. The analysis is based on a sur-vey carried out among workers active in two types of organization: an as-sociation and a union. The paper sheds light on the ambivalence of these workers with regard to the job of being a courier, activism and union ac-tion. The first part looks back at the delivery riders’ social trajectories and the reasons for their involvement. The second part analyses the activist strategies and practices in relation to two major concerns for platform workers: social protection and income. The article concludes by observing a relative partiality for the job of delivery rider, giving rise to contrasting modalities of defending working conditions reflecting the heterogeneity and the evolution of this sector.
Keywords: platform workers, France, delivery riders, collective action, social protection, income.