Self-employed people are increasingly using digital platforms. We see them every day, riding their bike to deliver meals or driving black sedans. But they are also maintenance staff, carers, translators, click workers, construction workers or computer coders … At the scale of the Old Continent, they represented 22 million workers in 2018, according to the Confederation Union of Trade Unions (CES). They sometimes, as the sole interlocutor and giver, a machine, a screen, and rarely meet colleagues. Most unions accept the self-employed and adapt to their needs as best they can.
Faced with digitalization, isolation and new forms of employment, trade union centers no longer consider this phenomenon only at the industry level (transport, trade, etc.), but embrace it in a global manner. They see the self-employed as workers like the others, who need to be protected, but who must also contribute and contribute to safeguarding the social models of the countries. These unions then face new challenges: starting the relationship with these workers, responding to their demands, and especially bringing them together to create a balance of power without which no social dialogue is possible. "Collective bargaining is the best way for workers to obtain better conditions, it must be extended to the self-employed", summarizes Thiébaut Weber, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC. Overview of beautiful initiatives.