PES condemns liberals and conservatives for rejecting well-balanced compromise on platform work directive

PES condemns liberals and conservatives for rejecting well-balanced compromise on platform work directive

We regret that Member States in the Council were – yet again – unable to find agreement on the platform work directive. This outcome means millions of workers remain vulnerable to precariousness and exploitation.

Proper regulation of the platform work sector to protect workers is a longstanding priority for the PES family. European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit presented the proposal for a platform work directive to fight precariousness and provide fairness for both workers and companies. As rapporteur, S&D MEP Elisabetta Gualmini worked hard to reinforce this objective in the European Parliament position on the file.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“This outcome is an immense disappointment for the millions of platform workers who deserve stronger rights and protections. And for our political family, which has been fighting hard to achieve that.

“Work on the file has been long and difficult, but the social democratic family has always negotiated in good faith to reach a fair compromise. By opposing this well-balanced agreement, liberals and conservatives in our biggest member states have prioritised platforms over people. They have failed the millions of platform workers who work hard every day in their countries.

“Today is a setback but not a defeat. We will not give up. We believe that technological progress must go hand in hand with social progress. We can embrace innovation and new forms of work without going back to 19th century working conditions. This is our promise to platform workers everywhere in the EU: we will continue to fight for your rights.

“I praise the commitment and dedication of European Commission Nicolas Schmit, MEP Elisabetta Gualmini and all other socialists and social democrats who are pushing hard for social rights and decent working conditions for platform workers.”

Last week, the European Parliament and the Belgian Presidency reached a politically balanced compromise on the platform work directive during trilogue.

The deal included landmark provisions on safeguarding social and labour rights in the digital economy, while also preserving genuine self-employment and providing a level-playing field for companies operating in the single market. It empowered workers and trade unions with new tools to claim employee status and ensure that platform workers receive basic rights like sick pay, holiday pay and social security. At the same, Member States national specificities were respected and they were granted significant flexibility in the transposition of the directive.

Powerful companies like Uber have worked tirelessly to block any platform work directive and its aim to properly regulate the sector and protect workers. They benefit when platform work remains a ‘wild west’.

An earlier compromise reached under the Spanish Presidency in December was also not approved by the Council.