On the way to regulation work on digital platforms In Mexico, the main transport and shipping companies by application go together, there is consensus among them. They agree to create a social security model to this people who work as drivers and delivery people, but also that there is no employment relationship with them.
Now, the heart of the matter, they say, is how to guarantee social security. The discussion is not exclusive to Mexico, the same thing is debated in several countries. To address the issue, the International Labor Organization (ILO) called a tripartite meeting that took place throughout the second week of October, but ended without agreements.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that up to 3% of the global workforce works in mobility and delivery applications. In our country, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) estimates that 500,000 people are dedicated to these jobs.
Luisa María Alcalde Luján, head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS), confirmed that the agency is preparing an initiative to reform the Federal Labor Law (LFT) to recognize the labor rights of said population.
“Our desire is to contribute to a solution and I am also talking about contributing financially”, says Nicolás Sánchez, director of Public Policies of Uber. “What we ask is to participate in the debate and that the solutions reconcile” the interests of the companies with the registration of delivery men and drivers to the IMSS.
The posture of Beat is “concurring and working hand in hand with the authorities. Generate a social security scheme that is sufficiently flexible for the nature of this activity and viable in legal matters and in implementation”, comments Daniel Rosado, leader of Public Policies of the Greek platform.
The president of the Social Security Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Ivonne Cisneros Luján (Morena), has indicated that the tripartite system of contributions to social security could be a good solution. “It sounds to us like it could be interesting,” but more needs to be explored, says Tonatiuh Anzures, director of Government Affairs at DiDi in Mexico.
The dilemma of employment without subordination
The history of transport networks by application in Mexico it began in 2013. Uber was the first to arrive, starting with “10 driving partners” in Mexico City and now it is present in almost the entire country.
“Partners”, “people who benefit from our technology”, “who have found a source of income in technology”, “who offer mobility or delivery services”, “platform users” or directly “drivers and delivery people” . The companies are careful not to name them “workers, workers”.
In December 2021, the European Commission proposed a series of criteria to determine if the platform is an employer. Based on that list, he estimated “that between 1.7 million and 4.1 million people could be reclassified as workers” in the European Union (EU), with the right to vacations, leave and disability, among other benefits.
For the representatives of the platforms consulted by The Economisttalking about whether there is a labor relationship distracts from what is important: providing them with protection and better living conditions and maintaining the valued flexibility scheme.
Because “in this model there are no bosses”, explains Tonatiuh Anzures, director of DiDi. For this company of Chinese origin “it is essential to find a scheme in which without a boss – look at the importance of what we are talking about – without the need for a boss you could have” social Security.
Subordination simply cannot be configured because those who decide “to offer mobility or delivery services are free to connect or not, choose where to do it, be their own boss, make their own decisions and even use one application or another indistinctly. Here there is a freedom, a flexibility that does not exist in the traditional model”, says Nicolás Sánchez.
Daniel Rosado raises the same thing: “The driver person decides when to turn on the application, how many trips to accept, it does so at its own will”. In these terms of autonomy, he says, “subordination as we have understood it comes into conflict.”
The possible impact of a reform
A reform that affects flexibility It will negatively impact those who work through the applications, says Nicolás Sánchez, director of Uber. “Seven out of 10 people say that if this were a traditional scheme, they would not be able to continue.”
If they don’t continue, he adds, there would be “a shortage of delivery men and drivers and prices would rise”, which would harm “citizens in general”. Mobility, “both to move and to obtain products, would probably be very limited to high-income areas.”
In confinement due to the covid-19 pandemic, he details, small and medium-sized companies were “deeply hit”, but found “a lifesaver” with home delivery. So, due to a bad decision, “small companies could not survive with a traditional scheme”, which will impact “the employability of the country and even inflation”.
For Beat, on the other hand, says Daniel Rosado, “the detail is how to generate a social security scheme in Mexico so that these new models have their own niche. We have to look at what is in the world and build a solution based on reality and the Mexican legal framework.” And analyze whether other actors that benefit from the platforms should contribute fees, for example, businesses.
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