From inflation to layoffs: a great success for those working in the economy of conversations. Human Rights | DW

A court ruling in favor of a delivery driver in Australia has encouraged people working in the so-called “concert economy” around the world. At a time when the world is debating how to guarantee the rights of people working in the concert economy, an Australian court has awarded $ 830,000 to the family of a food delivery driver killed in an accident.

Xiaojun Chen, 43, of Chinese descent, died in Sydney in September 2020 after being hit by a bus while delivering an order. His two children, the wife and the 75-year-old father live in China and depend on their income. The chain I used for the “Hungary Panda” food app.

The Transport Workers’ Union of Australia said the Hungarian Panda accepted its responsibility, after which the ‘Personal Injury Commission’ found Chen entitled to compensation. “After two years of struggle, Xiaozun’s family has finally gotten justice,” says the union’s national secretary, Michael Caine.

The Transport Workers ’Union of Australia is one of dozens of workers’ unions in dozens of countries demanding minimum income and other employee benefits for food delivery drivers and others working in the gig economy. In most countries, these companies that do business through the app consider their employees as drivers, and so on. only as contractors, so they are not considered entitled to minimum income, regular vacation and many other benefits.

The conflict also continues in India

Delivery drivers are also struggling to get similar rights in India. Recently, more than a hundred drivers working with the company went on strike when Frajo, a household goods company that sold household items through the Internet website, stopped paying the cost of fuel to distributors and reduced commissions.

Read also: “It happened for the first time”: India’s app company is suing people

Drivers also demonstrated in protest. Noida-based Frajo Rider Hemraj Sharma told Reuters news agency: “Fuel has become very expensive. We have to travel a lot and everywhere to deliver orders. If we don’t get the cost of fuel, we don’t there will be nothing to do this job. ”We work 10 to 12 hours a day, but after all there is nothing left for the family.” Frajo has not made any statement to the media about it.

The huge rise in the prices of fuel and other products around the world has added to the difficulties of these distributors. Ritika Krishnaswamy, national convener of the Gig Workers Union of India, says fuel prices have particularly affected distributors. She says, “Inflation is affecting everyone. Even those people who use these websites / apps. So people now avoid placing orders or spending on taxis. At the same time, companies pay fuel or commissions and so on. They are running a deficit because demand has fallen. That’s why those workers who don’t have security measures are suffering. “

‘no choice’

Recently, the World Bank said the global economy is entering a phase where inflation will rise and the growth rate will be weak. This is why technology companies from Melbourne to San Francisco are firing people. These also include so-called concert workers who do a variety of tasks, from delivering food to gardening and cleaning to coding through the app.

China distributes millions of digital currencies for free

There has also been good news from countries like Canada and Australia for workers going through such a difficult situation, where governments are trying to improve wages and other rights for these people. In India as well, NITI Aayog had recommended that gig workers should receive benefits like social security, which includes life insurance and so on.

NITI Aayog estimates that by 2030 there will be 2.4 million such employees in the country. And Krishnaswamy says things don’t look right to him. She says: “Gig workers in rich countries fight for rights like data, while in poorer countries their struggle is for fair wages. It is one of the worst forms of employment, but for many immigrant workers, no otherwise “. option. “

Report: Vivek Kumar (Reuters)

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