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EU lawmakers approve scaled-back rules for app worker rights
Strasbourg, France, April 24 (AFP) Apr 24, 2024
The European Parliament on Wednesday endorsed rules to strengthen the rights of workers in the gig economy on digital platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo.

Supporters hope the rules will allow some workers to be reclassified as employed, giving greater access to labour rights.

The legislation, backed in a vote by 554 EU lawmakers, with 56 against and 24 abstaining, will become law following final approval by the EU's 27 member states.

When the EU began work on the text in 2021, the aim was to set uniform rules that supporters hoped would improve conditions for workers for outfits such as ride-sharing group Uber by fixing norms under which they would be legally seen as employees.

French-led resistance stopped the text in its tracks in December despite an agreement struck by EU negotiators.

Not wanting to give up, negotiators returned to the table in February and agreed on a new draft with scaled-back rules that the parliament has now approved.

The new text scrapped the idea of any EU-level list of criteria, leaving it up to each country instead. Some argued that effectively maintained the status quo.

There are around 28 million gig workers dependent on online platforms in Europe, and the European Parliament believes at least 5.5 million could be wrongly classified as self-employed.

Jeremy Wick, a Deliveroo and Uber Eats worker in the French city of Bordeaux, hailed the vote.

"It's a resounding victory for us and a stinging defeat for the platforms. It sends a strong message to thousands of colleagues throughout Europe even if it will take time to apply," said Wick, 34.

He attended an event with workers from Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain organised by the far-left France Unbowed (LFI) party.





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