Wednesday, December 6

European ‘uberized’ groups transfer their “unacceptable” working conditions to Brussels

“You have to lose your fear of these big companies. They are digital fascists. They have money and they carry out great communication campaigns, but the streets will never win them. If we don’t all unite and form a great anti-lobbying lobby that goes from the bottom up, from the streets, we are going to have a very bad time”. These are the words of Alberto Álvarez Vega, taxi driver from Éltite Taxi BCN, who participated this Thursday in the third transnational forum on alternatives to uberization in the European Parliament, in Brussels.

The forum has brought together, as on previous occasions, platform workers, specialists in digital economy, artificial intelligence and labor law, trade union representatives and activists from the EU and the rest of the world, to discuss how to regulate the sector .

Among them, there are groups such as Riders x rights, Taxi Project 2.0, Elite Taxi BCN, UATAE, Correos en Lucha, FETE, Las Kellys and representatives of the Sindicat de Llogaters. Political representatives such as the MEPs Idoia Villanueva (Podemos) and Leila Chaibi (France Insoumise), as well as the deputy Rafa Mayoral (Podemos) have also participated.

“We cannot allow ourselves as a society to have workers without rights. It is not just a struggle of certain sectors, it is of the whole society”, said Idoia Villanueva at the inauguration of the Transnational Forum of Alternatives to Uberization: “Despite all the obstacles, the union and the strength of the workers He shows us the way. We and we will always be by your side”.

While the debate was taking place, taxis from different parts of Europe were gathering in the streets of Brussels to protest against uberization. The mobilization has ended at the gates of the European Commission, where the groups have claimed the need to ratify the directive on digital platform workers, presented by the European Commission in December 2021, to improve their working conditions, especially in the fight for the “presumption of employment”.

Sira Rego, MEP for the United Left, has participated in the meeting of European taxi drivers at the doors of the European Commission to demand, together with the associations, that the European institutions investigate the Uber Files. “We join the demand that the Uber Files be investigated, that responsibilities be settled and that the sector and the workers be strengthened,” said the MEP.

Finally, there will be a meeting between workers and workers and those responsible for negotiating this file, by the political groups of The Left, Socialists and Democrats and Greens, of the Employment Commission of the European Parliament.

“It is essential that there is transparency in the application of algorithms. Failure to do so implies ethical issues, gender prejudice and the reduction of rights such as collective bargaining”, added María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, also an MEP from United We Can.

“Technology is a tool. A digitization that implements the rights of the social majorities is possible. The problem is that this process is in the hands of large transnationals”, said Podemos deputy Rafa Mayoral: “The transnationals want to put themselves above states and peoples. There is a predetermined economic model that uses technological tools to overthrow the social achievements and the most basic rights that the peoples have achieved. We confront those who tried to implement the ultra-neoliberal model, putting democracy at risk. It is possible to defeat the big transnationals, but there are no magic wands. We are talking about defending democracy.”