Digital economy workers call for action to stop exploitation

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Digital Economy Workers
Digital Economy Workers

Stakeholders in the digital labour platforms economy have called for a comprehensive inter-agency engagement to share and implement initiatives that would benefit all sides and remove perceived exploitation of workers.

They called on workers, government-related and allied agencies to engage each other to ensure that issues and differences were resolved amicably while ensuring the safety of the workers.

Stakeholders also called for a government policy on issues relating to contracts, representation, conditions and management as well as a releasing workable regulation on the current unfavourable bias in working conditions.

The stakeholders expressed the views at a Fairwork workshop on the working conditions of digital labour platforms in Ghana, which was attended by representatives from government institutions and gig workers and employers.

The workshop is part of a series of engagements with relevant stakeholders towards improving the working conditions of gig workers in Ghana.

The Fairwork Ghana project evaluates the working conditions of digital labour platforms against five global principles of Fairwork, including fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation.

Platforms operating in Ghana, including Uber, Bolt, Bolt Food, Yango, Black Ride, Swift Wheel, IFerch, Eziban, Jumia Food and Glovo, are scored against all five principles to assess whether they provide basic labour standards like minimum wage or protection against accidents.

The Workers on these digital platforms have raised concerns about their poor remuneration and Conditions of Service, complaining that they work long hours and exposed to many risks without justifiable reward.

Mr Francis Tengey, President of Online Drivers Union, said the drivers on the online platforms were not making any money as the packages designed on the various platforms were making them poor.

Dr Lawrence Simpi of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations called for a comprehensive engagement and a more simplified contractual agreement between the workers and the various platforms to ensure fairness.

The Fairwork Ghana project is supported by ‘Invest for Jobs’ of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Invest for Jobs is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH among others.

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