The European Parliament demands decent conditions for the freelancers of digital companies

The so-called “digital platform workers”, among many other tasks, deliver food at home and pack what we buy online … But their working conditions leave much to be desired. That is why the European Parliament wants to include them in new laws to improve their minimum wage and working conditions. For the MEP responsible for the proposal, it is about ending job insecurity.

“They are called self-employed and things like that and they have the worst working conditions, they don’t have good wages, they don’t have job security. For me it is important that a legal framework is established and that they be seen as workers who can join unions and fight for collective agreements, for better wages “, explains Özlem Demirel, German MEP of the Left, and promoter of the initiative to end wage poverty.

MEPs have voted in favor of an adequate minimum wage for these workers, and have approved the new directive presented by the European Commission last October whose objective is to fight against working poverty.

Total, 9.4% of the workforce in the European Union, representing some 19 million people, cannot adequately cover their needs despite having a job in essential sectors, such as social and health care, agriculture, public services or cleaning.

The new Commission directive wants governments to set wages above the country’s poverty line. And ensure that collective bargaining covers at least 70% of workers.

But for trade unions, the board must also take into account the difference in cost of living across Europe. “You have to take into account how much it costs the rent, the food, if there is free childcare. So, for example, if you are in Bulgaria it will be about 2.5 euros per hour of work and if you are in Germany it will be about 12 euros per hour “, says Esther Lynch, Executive General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.

The proposal does not seek to harmonize minimum wages across the EU, but rather that there are common standards when applying them. Once published, the Commission’s proposal for a Directive will go to the European Council and Parliament for approval. When it enters into force, Member States will have two years to apply it.