Gig workers have gained significant prominence online, yet they continue to encounter challenges when it comes to participating in the key forums where the actual negotiation for improved working conditions takes place – the public policy forums.
In response to this issue, the Institute of Technology and Society (ITS) has initiated the “Conecta Trabalhadores” project, which seeks to channel and amplify the voices of gig workers in Brazil and Colombia. This project aims to establish connections between worker representatives and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, facilitating discussions on how to enhance working conditions.
How does the project work?
The project comprises three distinct phases:
In the first phase, our focus will be on developing a civic technology platform that effectively brings together the voices of gig workers to address crucial inquiries. Some of the key questions that will be posed include: How can we enhance transparency within the app-based labor market? What are the foremost measures required to ensure safety in this specific work environment? Using mobile phones, workers will actively contribute their insights, which will subsequently be processed and organized using artificial intelligence. In total, there will be four consultation sessions conducted over three years, with the goal of consolidating the ideas and priorities of gig workers.
Moving on to the subsequent phase, our project will transition into public policy spaces. Employing an interactive methodology involving decision-makers, we will convene workers, companies, and government representatives at the same table to deliberate on implementing changes that will enhance working conditions. Our primary objective is to foster a “win-win” scenario wherein workers assume a pivotal role in the debate. Within each consultation cycle, we anticipate conducting up to six meetings with the aim of securing commitments toward improving the lives of gig workers.
Lastly, in our efforts to promote empowerment and raise awareness, we will organize concise training courses accessible to platform workers. We will also conduct a nationwide survey to gauge the perception of gig economy workers among Brazilians and Colombians. These initiatives collectively aim to instill a sense of empowerment among workers while providing valuable insights into public opinion surrounding gig work.
What do we want to achieve?
Our primary objective is to empower gig workers by facilitating their inclusion in crucial negotiation spaces pertaining to their working conditions. In the short term, we aim to enable workers to engage in direct negotiations with employers and government entities, with the ultimate goal of advocating for improved public policies. Looking towards the medium term, our objective is to foster the emergence of policies that not only stimulate innovation but also safeguard the rights and well-being of gig workers in Brazil and Colombia.
Who is behind this project?
This project has received funding from the US government through a competitive call, wherein ITS was selected to pioneer innovative approaches in utilizing technology as a tool to influence public policy. In this particular instance, our primary objective is to expand the scope for workers in the digital realm, enabling them to engage in negotiations with both businesses and government entities.