Gig Economy

‘I’ll call my Union’, said the driver – Collective bargaining of Gig Workers under EU Competition Rules

By Maria José Schmidt-Kessen & Yvette Lind (Copenhagen Business School), Christian Bergqvist & Catherine Jacqueson (University of Copenhagen), Max Huffman (McKinney School of Law)

This article seeks to contribute to the current debate on the assessment of collective bargaining for self-employed service providers in the gig economy (“gig workers”) under EU competition law. In order to identify possibilities for EU competition policy makers and courts to accommodate collective bargaining of gig workers, we look for inspiration in general EU law, tax and social security law, as well as US antitrust law. We identify and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of four options that would allow for collective bargaining of gig workers under EU competition law: (i) classifying gig workers as employees, (ii) analysing collective bargaining agreements as “by effect” restrictions of competition under Article 101 (1) TFEU, (iii) carving a legitimate objective exception for collective bargaining of gig workers, and (iv) encouraging Member States to enact laws that explicitly allow for collective bargaining in certain gig economy sectors.

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