Labor Initiatives is officially launching a new program, supported by the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (the DRL), to support workers and workers’ associations in the platform/gig economy in Ukraine. September 8th, LI held an official launch event with the participation of platform workers’ reps, and began a discussion sourcing the needs and visions of the emergent platform workers’ movement.
While the discourse on platform and gig economy in Ukraine has been largely centered on labor rights in delivery services, the new project will also address inequities in other forms of fragmented labor, including platform work, telework, freelance work, short-term contracts, etc. “We need to be intentional about supporting workers’ organizing and community building in an age when workers are atomised and isolated, one-on-one with the platform, left to the whim of an algorithm.” – said George Sandul, Labor Initiatives legal expert, in his opening speech.
The covid-19 crisis has exposed the multiple cracks in Ukraine’s labor market and labor policies – such as the ever-increasing informality, stagnant wages, labor-related emigration, and lack of political will to address the needs and rights of workers. Given the dire need for visibility of platform workers’ issues, the new project will provide the much needed advocacy and allyship to the emerging workers’ associations and new voices in the movement.