Entities defend the protection of workers, and companies fear immobilization in app regulation

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Waiting for the installation of a group mediated by the government, application workers are finalizing a proposal for the regulation of the sector to include protections such as life insurance and help to maintain vehicles, while companies fear that excessive rules could stifle the activity.

The expectation is that entities that bring together platforms, associations that represent workers and union centrals send their suggestions to regulate a sector that, according to data from Ipea (Institute of Applied Economic Research) of 2021, has about 1.5 million people in the passenger transport and goods delivery segments.

The Ministry of Labor will mediate the proposals, which should become a bill to be forwarded and discussed in Congress.

Conciliation, so far, has come up against some challenges, such as a common agenda that addresses the different types of app workers and the difficulty of mapping associations that are truly representative of the sector.

Preliminary discussions have already led to some advances, such as with regard to social security contributions. The model defended by the segment is that each platform collects the contribution and deposits it in the worker’s account — to avoid the possibility of default.

One of the proposals is that the amount deposited for Social Security be calculated from a rate that would apply on top of the monthly billing on the platform, instead of on the minimum wage, for example. This is because many workers use apps to supplement their income and do not reach this benchmark. Nor is it ruled out that companies contribute a percentage to the social security account.

Edgar Francisco da Silva, known as Gringo, president of AMABR (Association of Application and Self-Employed Drivers in Brazil), argues that the social security contribution is essential for workers, but it is not enough. “We don’t just want Social Security, it’s too little for all the precariousness that happened in the sector.”

In January, a group of self-employed motoboys threatened to paralyze delivery services to pressure the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to meet some of the priority demands of the category, including the regulation of work. In view of the positive signal, the act was suspended.

According to Gringo, the adoption of an employment relationship as provided for in the CLT (Consolidation of Labor Laws) is not the objective of most of the category. “The staff disliked the CLT due to the lack of appreciation for the service. It is rigid, we are tied to that work schedule. In this flexible system, we are able to work in several services”, he says.

He complains about the lack of help for proper vehicle maintenance, food expenses and the workload that can exceed 12 hours a day. “It is a risky profession. The platforms say that we are autonomous, but they do not give true autonomy or the rights of the CLT operator.”

The AMABR president’s speech is echoed in some proposals studied by the trade union centrals. Ricardo Patah, president of UGT (General Union of Workers), specifically mentions two points that can be taken to the working group: life insurance and motorcycle insurance, in the case of couriers.

“My concern is, while you are in this legal limbo, at least have some ‘treaty’ on certain topics: life. This youth cannot die [no trânsito]”, it says.

UGT intends to present a proposal to the government that includes collective agreements, minimum wage, annual readjustment and premium for dangerous work, in addition to 13th salary, vacations, 24-hour life insurance, telemedicine health plan and motorcycle maintenance, among other items. . However, Patah defends that some palliative measures, such as life insurance and motorcycle assistance, be adopted even before the regulation.

“This is UGT’s message: oblige the company to carry out life insurance. [o trabalhador] dies, how is the family? Motorbikes are often not even qualified to ride on the streets, you see a motorcycle with almost a flat tire”, he criticizes.

On one issue, however, unions and most workers differ: the formalization of these workers. The wing of couriers and drivers fears that the excessive demands could drive away platforms and leave workers without this source of income.

In an interview published on the 6th by the newspaper Valor Econômico, Minister Luiz Marinho (Trabalho e Emprego) suggested the creation of a new application if companies like Uber decide to leave the country because they disagree with the future regulation.

“I can call Correios, which is a logistics company, and say to create an application and replace it. There are loads of applications on the market. We don’t want to regulate there in the slightest detail”, he said.

Amobitec (Brazilian Association of Mobility and Technology), which has Uber, 99, IFood, Buser and Amazon among its associates, says it supports the regulation of work on urban mobility and delivery platforms that seeks to improve the social protection of professionals and guarantee the legal security of the activity.

“The associates make themselves available to the government to collaborate in the discussions and defend that the debate has as premises the flexibility and autonomy that characterize the new work relations intermediated by applications, supported by the majority of workers, as pointed out in several surveys” , indicates the entity in the note.

The association says it has contributed to the discussion since April 2022, when it launched a letter of principles in which it advocates that the inclusion of workers in the social protection system occurs “in an efficient way, making use of technology to overcome the bureaucracy inherent in the registration, payment and regularity.”

“Furthermore, the entity believes it is fundamental that the increase in protection does not lead to a significant increase in costs for drivers and couriers, nor for the final consumer”, he adds.

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