Union’s historic agreement sets precedent for global gig economy

Australia leads the way with six core principles that could shape how HR employs independent workers

Union’s historic agreement sets precedent for global gig economy

A pioneering agreement reached between tech delivery platform DoorDash and Australia’s Transport Workers Union (TWU) has attempted to address a global problem sparked by the rise of the gig economy: how do we set safety and fairness standards for independent workers?

An article on Start Up Daily reports the agreement sets six core principles and enforceable industry-wide standards for gig-workers governed by an independent body.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine says the agreement between the union and DoorDash has developed over several months and builds on the success of their 2020 Covid-19 agreement, which established core pandemic protections for workers.

“We believe that collaborating with DoorDash is an important step towards giving gig economy workers the rights and protections they deserve,” he says.

DoorDash general manager Rebecca Burrows says the company has a role to play in advocating for independent workers who take on temporary or flexible jobs.

“Work through apps like DoorDash appeals to many people because it can fit around their lives and other commitments, but we need to ensure independent workers can rely on clear standards and protections and access more benefits, without sacrificing the autonomy and flexibility they value,” she said.

The Statement of Principles to Ensure Safety and Fairness for Workers in the On-Demand Economy says:

  1. Workers should not be prohibited from accessing appropriate work rights and entitlements
  2. Workers must have transparency
  3. Workers must have the opportunity to contribute to a collective voice
  4. Workers must have access to dispute resolution processes
  5. Appropriate resources should be allocated to ensuring industry standards are established and maintained, and to driver education and training
  6. Three stage approach towards achieving regulation of the on-demand transport industry

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