“A worker is a worker – Technology cannot change hard won rights” – MacManus
Sinn Féin MEP insists Financial Technology workers must enjoy same rights as other workers
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said that new technologies and innovations which have created digital platform workers and the increasing use of FinTech [financial technology] cannot be allowed as a basis to diminish workers’ rights. MacManus today addressed a major workshop on workers’ rights in the finance sector organised by the Euro-wide Trade Union UNI Europa-Finance. He took the opportunity to welcome a rejection by the European Parliament of a move to create a new third category of worker in between employment and self-employment.
Speaking at the conference MacManus said:
“It is a coincidence but a fortunate one that today the European Parliament rejected calls by the right inspired by tech and FinTech companies to create a third category of worker, neither employed or self-employed. This blurring of the lines would have served only to weaken fundamental worker’s rights in the name of innovation and disruption. Such buzz-words cannot be used as an excuse for regression when it comes to workers’ rights.
MacManus went on to outline why it was so important this attempt was defeated:
“There is a danger that the EU Commission, Member States, the ECB and others see the sector as one where workers are somehow different. There is a sense that workers in FinTech and digital platforms are not regarded in the same way as workers are in other industries.
“I see the role of the Parliament as countering that feeling, of not letting big tech away with it. That is what I will strive to do. There can be no carve-out of rights in any particular industry. Those employed by banks, FinTech companies or digital platforms are workers who deserve the full protections of progressive workers’ rights legislation. No different from everything else the Parliament would demand for workers in factories, in construction or in retail. Fundamentally finance and digital platforms must be a workspace like others with rights and protections.” ENDS