Gig Economy Project: Podcast – The Brussels Appeal: Building the platform workers’ movement

The Gig Economy Project speaks to three food delivery activists and organisers from Austria, Spain and Belgium about the working conditions of riders, resistance to the platforms and the barriers to political solutions.

The Gig Economy Project is a BRAVE NEW EUROPE media network for gig workers in Europe. Click here to find out more and click here to get the weekly newsletter.

On 21-22 February, platform workers’ gathered in Brussels for the transnational Alternatives to Uberisation forum.

The forum came just a few days after the Platform Work Directive was blocked by four member-states, Germany, France, Greece and Estonia. 

The Platform Work Directive, which would be the first major European legislation on platform work, still could potentially be passed before the end of the European Parliamentary term, at a final meeting on 11 March.

Delegates to the forum discussed the latest developments with the Directive, the working conditions gig workers’ are experiencing and looked to develop a strategy for the platform workers’ movement, regardless of the final outcome of the Directive.

A document titled The Brussels Appeal was circulated, with platform workers’ proposing amendments and suggestions to improve the text. A final text has now been published via the Gig Economy Project (GEP), with 26 platform work unions and collectives offering their support for it so far.

To discuss all of this and more, GEP co-ordinator Ben Wray spoke to three of the forum’s delegates, all of whom are at the heart of organising food delivery couriers’ in Europe today.

Robert Walasinski is project manager of the Rider Collective, which is part of the International Department of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB).

Felipe Corredor is a former food delivery courier in Barcelona and spokesperson for RidersXDerechos (Riders for Rights), an advocacy organisation for riders in Spain.

Camille Peeters is a food delivery courier, a member of Collectif Coursiers Bruxelles (Brussels Couriers Collective) and a union organiser.

In this podcast we discuss:

02:58: The working conditions’ of food delivery couriers’ in Europe

15:45: Rider union organising and resistance

26:10: The EU Platform Work Directive

38:34: The Brussels Appeal and the way forward for the platform workers’ movement

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