Second Trade Union Forum on Platform Work

The second Trade Union Platfor(u)m - organised by ETUC, in cooperation with FES Future of Work - took place on 28-29 September 2023 in Madrid.

On September 28 and 29, more than 100 trade unionists and gig workers from all over Europe as well as representants from civil society and politics accepted the invitation of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the FES Future of Work to this year's trade union conference on platform work in Madrid.

Hosted by the Spanish trade union’s UGT and CCOO, the conference provides a space to share experiences and develop strategies for improved organisation and representation of digital labor platform workers. This is of enormous importance as many platform workers continue to suffer from precarious working conditions and are often subject to unfair pressure from platform operators.

Migrant workers in digital labour platforms at the centre of debates

This year, the discussion on the question around migrant gig workers and trade unions has been at the centre of this conference. In a keynote speech, Barbara Orth from Freie Universität Berlin presented the findings of her research on reasons for migrant workers joining platform work. For example, the fast access to a source of income flexibility of schedule and that platform jobs are often better paid than other miragntised sectors such as construction, gastronomy or warehouse work. The keynote speech served as food for thoughts for the following debate on digitalisation and precaristation with MEP Kim van Sparrentak and Matthias Weber, Director of FES FoW.

FES-EFFAT workshop on migrant issues

Furthermore, various workshops were devoted to specific aspects of platform work, such as algorithmic management and organisation of work,gender and migration issues or challenges in new sectors of platform work.

Together with EFFAT – the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism – FES Future of Work dedicated a workshop to migrant workers in digital labour platforms. Platform work has emerged as a key topic in discussions about the future of work in Europe. While there has been some focus on the working conditions and employment status of platform workers, more attention needs to be given to their demographics and backgrounds. During this workshop, Dr Inga Sabanova, policy officer at FES Future of Work presented the key findings of the FES-EPC study on how regulating platform work will impact migrant workers. Enrico and Policy Officer Dr Inga Sabanova presented the key findings. Enrico Somaglia, deputy general secretary at EFFAT, presented the main positions and demands on migration issues regarding the Platform Directive.

Further information on the second Trade Union Platfor(u)m is available below. A third edition is supposed to take place in September 2024.

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