Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) slightly up in pre trading session on Friday as a new government bill is expected to regulate the gig economy, Uber behind the delivery apps DiDi and Rappi has suggested providing social security benefits to workers in Mexico for the first time.
The businesses declared that they were open to providing coverage to drivers and couriers who put in an average of more than 40 hours per week on one or more platforms in a statement released on Wednesday and co-signed by advocacy groups for worker rights.
However, they refrained from stating that drivers should be considered workers, and they provided little information regarding how payments for social security expenditures would be allocated.
A plan that would integrate gig workers into the “formal economy,” according to Mexican Labor Minister Luisa Alcalde, is being worked on, though it is not yet clear when it will be passed.
It is also unclear whether the measure would propose further revisions in accordance with the apps’ declaration or try to make drivers employees.
International ridesharing and delivery services have resisted proposals to categorize workers as employees rather than independent contractors, claiming that the change would harm their business models and limit the flexibility of its drivers.
Although no specifics were provided, the statement from Uber, Chinese mobility company DiDi Global Inc., and Latin American delivery service Rappi also urged developing procedures to ensure equitable remuneration in accordance with time spent.
Tonatiuh Anzures, Didi’s government affairs director in Mexico, said in an interview that “it’s time to take the next step and find a point of convergence… and start improving circumstances.”
Any adjustments would rely on additional discussions and support from the government, Anzures said.
The head of public policy for Uber in Mexico, Nicolas Sanchez, expressed his hope that any additional costs would be minimal but added that the company was “open to them” if the industry, which employs about 500,000 people, was permitted to maintain its flexibility.
A request for feedback from the Labor Ministry did not receive a prompt response.
It can be difficult to come to a broad consensus. In what Sergio Guerrero, president of the National Union of Application Workers, called a protest against the companies’ stance, a few dozen workers honked on motorcycles outside the Mexico City building where the companies were scheduled to hold news briefings on Wednesday.
You must be acknowledged as an employee in order to have labor rights, he said.