1 May 2017
Today, May 1st, it is once again Labour Day, when we celebrate workers’ rights, or if you prefer, the rights of working people. Yet things aren’t going so well for these rights. Despite all the fine words, the European Union has spent the last few decades actively participating in the erosion of these rights, while there are now, furthermore, numerous new challenges. One subject of current debate in the European Parliament is the digital market. This offers excellent new opportunities, but there is a downside: workforces the world over are being played off against each other via so-called crowdworking platforms, and people are being redefined as self-employed and exploited in the ‘sharing economy’ by groups such as Uber. Little attention is paid to any of this in Brussels, while we badly need ‘labour rights 2.0’ to be maintained in the time of digitalisation.