ETUI Policy Brief

5 March 2020

A policy brief for the European Trade Union Institute

This policy brief sets out the first findings of the Leeds Index on worker protest in the platform economy. It includes authorship by Digit members Simon Joyce and Charles Umney.

Key Points :

The newly developed Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest provides an overview of
the developments in platform worker organisation and mobilisation on a global scale. Its
findings so far reveal that:

  • The main cause globally for labour protest is pay, with considerable geographical
    variation when it comes to other causes for dispute.
  • Types of platform labour protest appear to vary more substantially between regions
    than between industries.
  • Mainstream unions play a vital role in defending platform workers’ interests, especially
    in western Europe, while in the global South, protests are much more likely to be led
    by grassroots unions.
  • Mainstream unions rely more frequently on legal challenges, while unofficial unions
    rely more frequently on strike actions.

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