No more ” digital laborers “, as the new proposal in the Chamber of Deputies describes to delivery men and drivers of Uber, DiDi, and the like. Seen by The Taxpayer, the initiative of deputy Isaías González aims to establish an unprecedented regulation in Mexico, but that does have references in other parts of the world.
The idea is essential: to provide a minimum social security floor to workers of digital platforms, a request that the #Niunrepartidormenos movement has already made since it was founded. The proposal in question contemplates that digital workers must access social security, being registered by the platform or platforms for which they work. They should also sign a contract that, among other things, establishes that the platform must pay for the gasoline consumed by making deliveries or trips.
A modified Federal Labor Law
Deputy González establishes in his proposal that digital platforms have everything to ” evade current labor regulations “, but he assumes that their presence can be benign because they give job opportunities to people who have difficulties to fully enter the traditional labor market, and it lists among them students and women and men with family responsibilities or people who have been unemployed for a long time.
But if the platforms do not provide social security, there is a decrease in the well-being of the workers, explains Deputy González.
The idea is to incorporate a whole new chapter of digital platform workers in the Federal Labor Law. The articles there would regulate the work of drivers, delivery men, carriers, messengers ” and anyone else who, with the help of electronic tools through digital platforms, carry out activities for one or more employers .”
Article 330-Ñ establishes that there should be a contract that establishes the amount of the salary, the date and form of payment, in the understanding that the salary may be agreed by trip, delivery, by embargo, by percentage, or any other modality agreed by the parties.
Right there it should be established that the costs for work lost due to technical problems on the platform ” will be borne by it .”
The platforms, in addition to registering the workers in the social security system, would have to take care of the maintenance ” of the vehicles, equipment, and other tools necessary for the provision of service.” Not only that: they should pay for the gasoline used and even assume the costs of telecommunications services that the worker needs.
Workers of digital platforms would also have obligations, among which are to comply with the working day they choose, as long as the time established by the Federal Labor Law is not exceeded. They are also obliged to communicate the costs of telecommunications and gasoline services, as well as to ” take greater care in the storage and conservation of equipment, vehicles and other tools used to provide the service .” If workers had a period of inactivity greater than 60 days without just cause, their contract would be terminated.
The proposal also contemplates that there be an Official Mexican Standard to establish parameters for the operation of the algorithm system of digital platforms and monitor their operation. The NOM itself would also have to regulate what has to do with the proper use of the geolocation of workers. Finally, the initiative contemplates that digital workers can associate to form unions.
“At the global level, digital platforms have also distorted labor regulation, questioning whether workers of digital platforms fall within their protection framework since these companies break into national economies ignoring social protection labor regulations, as well as the regulatory framework of the economic activity in which they operate. In fact, by naming their workers as ‘partners’, ‘drivers’, ‘collaborators’ or ‘suppliers’, these platforms seek to establish that they are new business associations, even by defining them as self-employed workers, it is a matter of avoiding the employment relationship and the obligations associated with it “.
Proposed document of Deputy González
The document takes up similar regulations that have occurred in other countries. In California, the United States, it is a discussion that continues, as in the United Kingdom, Spain, Chile, and Uruguay. The International Labor Organization itself has positioned itself in favor of having social protection for digital workers.
The initiative now goes to committees where it will be analyzed. If it receives enough support, it can become an opinion to advance towards the plenary session of the chamber, where it would have to be voted on. If it receives a majority in favor, it would then go to the Senate of the Republic. Even in the scenario where the initiative is suspended in any of the stages, it could become a precedent for future initiatives in future legislatures to resume the regulation of work on digital platforms.