Digital work grows but threatens workers' rights

Digital work grows but threatens workers' rights

Alert is from the International Labor Organization

Digital platforms have grown five times over the past decade, offering opportunities to some, but also affecting labor rights, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned on Tuesday.

From apps like Uber, and virtual markets like UpWork, which connect informal workers to customers, to programs that allow employers to supervise their employees, according to news from Agência Brasil, digital platforms transform the nature of work, he said. the ILO – agency of the United Nations (UN).

"At its best [aspecto], these platforms offer new opportunities, "said Guy Ryder, head of the ILO, who interviewed 12,000 workers from 100 countries, 70 businesses and 16 companies in the first detailed report on the entity's platform economy.

"There are opportunities for disabled workers, for those who are in remote locations. There are indications that those who are unemployed or marginalized may find a way into the job market," he said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The covid-19 pandemic accelerates migration to a digital economy, changing the way work has been organized and regulated for decades. With the loss of jobs, millions have become casual workers, offering on-demand driving, delivery or child care, among other services.

But in many cases, work is poorly paid – half of those who work virtually earn less than $ 2 an hour – and lack access to traditional labor benefits, according to the Brazil agency, such as collective bargaining, insurance and injury protection related to the function, according to the ILO.

Platforms typically classify workers as independent service providers, and entitlements depend on the platform's own terms of service and not labor laws.

The ILO found considerable inequalities in the platforms. Developing country workers receive 60% less than developed country workers, even after controlling basic characteristics and types of tasks.

More than 70% of taxi drivers reported that their average daily number of trips and income decreased after a platform dominated the market.

Ryder called for labor rights already established in the "analogue" world, such as health benefits, to be protected in the world of work for platforms.


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