The European Economic and Social Committee ratified an opinion that highlights the potential of cooperative ownership in the digital platform economy. With the growth of digital platforms and with it the deterioration of working conditions for platform workers, new business models and legal actions are needed to ensure dignified working conditions.
With its opinion, the EESC recognises the potential of worker’s cooperatives in the digital economy to ensure stable employment relationships and thereby improve the working conditions or platform workers. Especially the employee status within the cooperatives retains the rights of workers and their access to social security systems.
Furthermore, The EESC emphasizes that cooperatives are particularly suited to support the inclusive participation in the governance of digital platforms. According to the EESC, by fostering collective ownership of digital services, data and technological infrastructure, cooperative platforms encourage greater economic diversification and promote economic democracy. CECOP welcomes this point, as democratic control and worker ownership are key instruments to ensure a democratic and inclusive digitalization.
Furthermore, CECOP welcomes the urge to the European Union, Member States, and the social partners to support the development of platform cooperatives, as these innovative business models can promote entrepreneurship and decent work, especially for young workers.
CECOP calls the European Institutions to reflect this EESC report as well as the Own-Initiative Report on fair working conditions, rights and social protection of platform workers adopted by the European Parliament on 16th of September 2021 in the negotiations of the Platform Work Initiative that is expected to be published on 9th of December. Worker-owned platforms need to be a key element in the EU’s efforts to ensure decent work and digital entrepreneurship across the Union.