The Brussels Appeal: Proposal from the Forum on Alternatives to Uberisation, 21-22 February 2024

Following the fourth Transnational Alternatives to Uberisation forum, which took place 21-22 February 2024, some of the participant organisations of the platform workers’ movement have prepared the following statement – The Brussels Appeal – to take forward the movement from here. The Gig Economy Project is publishing this statement so all gig workers’ and their organisations can access it and consider giving it their support.

Puedes leer el comunicado en español aquí.

Vous pouvez lire la déclaration en français ici.

Our commitment to fight against uberisation is and will remain unwavering. The emergence of new extractive technologies and the rise of the platform economy have presented a challenge to the international workforce, particularly impacting workers who do not always fit into traditional union frameworks: gig workers, or those who are uberised. Despite our differences in language, we share common experiences: being at the mercy of app notifications without recourse, subjected to platform control, earning meagre incomes, facing barriers to unionisation, and being classified as “self-employed” simply for possessing a mobile phone and a bicycle in many cases.

Our struggle is critical. If the uberisation model keeps becoming dominant, it will extend its reach to all sectors of the economy, as evidenced by its encroachment into internet moderators, data annotators, invisible clickworkers, teaching, psychology, cleaning services, and beyond. Over the past five years, we have organised at a transnational level and fought collectively against Uber, Glovo, Amazon, Facebook and similar companies.

Our advocacy extends beyond riders and drivers: we defend all workers’ whose rights and employment status are in peril. We fight to be recognised either as employees if the platform exerts control over us, as is currently the case, or as fully self-employed entities from the platforms. We are fighting against fraudulent outsourcing where the responsibility for the worker’s rights is not clear. We are fighting against the abuse of workers without papers and calling for their regularisation.

We have made our presence known on the European stage, engaging with Members of the European Parliament, the European Commissioner for Employment and their staff, as well as representatives from Member States. We have proactively sought participation in platform lobbies’ meetings where decisions about workers are made, even when we were not invited. We have demonstrated, shared our perspectives, and cycled between Paris and Brussels to amplify our voices and counter the influence of platform lobbyists.

We refuse to allow workers to be treated as commodities. We reject the proliferation of surveillance and control, the violation of our right to privacy, the erosion of protections against workplace hazards, both physical and psychological, and the imposition of opaque, algorithmic decision-making that undermines workers’ income and future prospects, leading to legal, social, and administrative insecurity. We reject the constant reproduction of discriminatory biases, the exploitation of workers in precarious conditions, including the exploitation of marginalised and undocumented workers.

Since 2019, gig economy workers from across Europe have convened in Brussels to advocate for regulations safeguarding employment status and workers’ rights, opposing the “self-employed” model imposed by companies like Uber and Glovo. Also, we are worried about the lack of regulations on algorithmic management and data protection. Workers should know how productivity is measured and what happens with our personal data.

Despite our sustained efforts, progress has been hindered by prolonged negotiations. Recently, we were shocked to learn that an employment presumption, contingent on individual country laws, and digital transparency measures were blocked by only four countries: France, Germany, Greece and Estonia, denying European workers the rights for which we have tirelessly fought.

While the opposition from certain countries was anticipated, Germany’s stance was particularly unexpected. We also condemn the German Social Democratic Party government for aligning with companies like Glovo and Uber, as such actions contradict the principles of social democracy.

Indeed, the extensive power of Uber and its influential lobbyists, who exert control over politicians such as Macron and governments with both neoliberal and conservative tendencies, presents a danger to European democracy, allowed by European Institutions. The Uber Files scandal highlights the undermining of democratic values, revealed through disclosures from former Uber lobbyist Mark MacGann, which implicate the incumbent French president, Macron, with unexpected impunity for him, other politicians (especially far-right wing) and companies. This should not be happening in a democracy.

These companies seek to establish a bespoke “third status” that allows them to evade social security contributions and undermining our social welfare systems. This issue transcends food delivery and passenger transport; it encompasses all forms of work, whether blue-collar or white-collar. They seek to exploit our welfare state and social rights, propagating an inherently anti-unionist model with tacit approval from European democracy.

Our resolve remains unshakeable. We will closely monitor the composition of the next European Parliament and intensify pressure on them and other European institutions to prevent further setbacks. We will vigilantly track developments in the negotiations surrounding future directives, regardless of the Council’s presidency or parliamentary composition.

This transnational forum marks a significant milestone. Workers are uniting across platforms and continents: we welcome the African Content Moderators Union, who worked to ensure the safety of the platform citizens use all across the world. We welcome data annotators organised in worker councils across some of the major labour platforms.

The fight for our rights in Europe is also a means to create vast networks of cooperation, where every milestone we achieve will have a positive impact beyond our continent. We pledge to convene annually and coordinate actions across Europe and globally to expose the dangers of uberisation and the future of work it portends.

Companies that trample on workers’ rights and governments that enable them will encounter our steadfast resistance. Together, we will persist in fighting for our rights and never relent. Today, we unveil the Brussels Appeal—a transnational collective representing all workers affected by or vulnerable to uberisation. The struggle continues at the national level, and unity among workers will ensure our triumph.


Riders x Derechos (Spain)

La Maison des Livreurs (Belgium)

Observatorio Trabajo, Algoritmo y Sociedad (Spain)

Taxi Project (Spain)

Elite taxi (Spain)

SUD Commerce (France)

Force Ouvriere (France)

Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (Netherlands)

Riders Collective (Austria)

Travailleur de Plateformes Numériques by Intersyndicale Nationale VTC (France)

Collectif des Livreurs autonomes de Plateformes (France)

Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR) (USA)

Weizenbaum-Institute (Germany)

Digital Platform Labor Lab  (DiPLab ), Polytechnic Institute of Paris, France

Sindikat Mladi plus, a part of ZSSS (Slovenia)

Organizacja związkowa Konfederacji Pracy zrzeszająca kurierów (Poland)

Deliverance Milano (Italy)

Association la Maison des Livreurs de Bordeaux (France)

GigWatch (Sweden)

Techworker Community Africa (Kenya)

La Maison des Livreurs à Bordeaux (France) 

Lieferando Workers Collective Berlin (Germany)

English Language Students’ Union of Ireland (Ireland)

Algorace (Spain) 

RiderXiDiritti (Italy)

Correos en Lucha (Spain)

Kellys Unión Madrid (Spain)

Printemps Ecologique, Fédération de Syndicats (France)

Médecins du Monde Aquitaine (France)

CGT Riders Barcelona (Spain)

Fuerza independiente y sindical de trabajadores (Fist) (Spain)

Turizm, Eğlence ve Hizmet İşçileri Sendikası (Tourism, Leisure, and Service Workers Union) (Turkey)

Sindikat dostavljača (Platform workers’ union Serbia) (Serbia)

Alliance of Korean Platform Workers (South Korea)

PersonalData.IO (Switzerland)

Reversing Works (Europe)

Tech Workers Coalition Berlin (Germany)

Algorights (Spain)

Content Moderators Union (Kenya)

AlgorithmWatch (Germany & Switzerland)

European Alternatives (Germany)

If your organisation would like to support this statement, send an e-mail with the organisation, website/social media and country to

1 Comment

  1. As the german workers union for the delivery sector we support the call for the introduction of the EU Platform Directive. We are ashamed that the German FDP party is boycotting the important improvements

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