ACV/CSC : Encouraging Platform Worker Issues at the G20/L20 Forum
The development of communication technology and innovation, especially digital-based brings many changes in various sectors of life. In this time of pandemic, significantly, it encourages changes in the form of socio-economic configuration from traditional to digital and along with other implications. Digital technology makes it possible to perform various forms of work, and especially knowledge-based work.
To that end, ACV/CSC Belgium in collaboration with ITUC held a Webinar with the title ‘The G20 Issues and New Social Contract’, on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. One of these webinar sessions discussed the issue of the growth of platform workers in various countries, as well as related vulnerabilities. working conditions and social security faced by these precariate workers. This activity was also attended by ACV/CSC networks in the Asian region, including labor confederation networks from Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Head of International Department ACV/CSC Belgium Stijn Sintubin explained, the percentage of platform workers is around 11% in Europe. In the last 1-2 years, the platform jobs sector has experienced growth, in various countries, with a high demand for various services. This is due to the implementation of the lockdown policy or restrictions on mobility during the Covid pandemic, so that people cannot leave their homes.
In his presentation, Stijn said, platform workers did create many jobs, but the conditions of the workers were very marginal, the wages were low, the work risk was high, and they were not included in social security. In fact, most of them are freelancers.
“We see that the potential for the workforce in the digital platform sector is huge. In addition to delivery services, there are also those who work from home such as IT workers. So in the European Union, we took the initiative to organize them into a trade union forum,” said Stijn in his presentation in the first session.
Apart from organizing, it is important for social movements to participate in promoting the protection of platform workers. Trade unions, added Stijn, need to have initiatives that lead to legal changes in favor of platform workers. The goal of this process is to find ways to improve the well-being of platform workers.
ITUC together with employers’ associations and the European Union, as well as the ACV/CSC network are committed to bringing the issue of platform workers to the G20/L20 meeting to be held in Indonesia in 2022. According to Stijn, the move is an important momentum to spread the idea of a new social contract and then link it to transitional justice, platform workers and digitization.
“So unions must unite, because we are in the same position, and have the same knowledge to bring the results of our discussions in L20 or other government forums,” concluded Stijn.