Growing Digital Economy Offers New Opportunities – and Challenges 

The latest International Labor Organization FILE – Travelers request an Uber ride at Los Angeles International Airport’s LAX-it pick up terminal, Aug. 20, 2020.However, there are a number of downsides to this new form of work.  For example, Ryder notes workers sometimes have to pay a commission or a fee just to access the digital labor market. “Workers also frequently struggle to find sufficient well-paid work to earn a decent income, and many do not have access to social protection, and this has become a particular point of concern obviously in the course of the current pandemic.  Moreover, workers are often unable to engage in collective bargaining that would allow them to have the way to address some of these issues,” he said.The report finds working hours often can be long and unpredictable.  It says half of online platform workers earn less than $2 per hour, women earn less than men and workers in developing countries earn about 60 percent less than those doing the same job in developed countries. Since digital labor platforms operate across multiple jurisdictions, the ILO says international labor standards governing digital platform workers must be enacted.  Among its recommendations, authors of the report say self-employed platform workers should have the right to bargain collectively. They say all workers, including platform workers, should have access to adequate social security benefits.

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