Collective Relations in the Gig Economy

Matthieu Vicente


Abstract: This contribution aims at analyzing the collective actions of platform workers through the prism of classical industrial relations law structures, and in relation with international standards.

Design/methodology/approach: A mapping exercise is conducted to distinguish between platform-based and sector-based actions. This brings up questions related to the international protection of the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike, particularly in relation to competition law within the European Union. Particular attention is drawn to the British case-law IWGB v. Deliveroo.

Findings: It appears that judges may play a major role in the protection of platform workers pursuing collective action. A dynamic interpretation of freedom of association might thus be necessary to guarantee the effectiveness of those collective rights, especially by widening the scope of application of the personal work contract.

Research limitations/implications: The research presents some assumptions and invites to pay particular attention to the development of case-law, especially from the European Court of Justice.

Originality/value: The paper develops an analysis of international collective labour rights in relation with domestic contractual arrangements in the European Union. 

Paper type - Conceptual paper.


Keywords: Gig Economy, Platform Workers, Industrial Relations, Collective Bargaining, Freedom of Association, Competition Law, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB)