Fairwork is delighted to announce that Observatorio de Plataformas Peru is joining the Fairwork network, a global research project dedicated to studying working conditions in the platform economy and advocating for the fair treatment of workers.
Led by the sociologist Alejandra Dinegro, together with the team from the Observatory consisting of Moisés K. Rojas Ramos, Eiser Carnero Apaza, and Lucero Pinedo Huerta, the Fairwork Project will be mainly concentrated in Lima this year. Despite the focus on the capital of Peru, the team will also conduct research in Arequipa, Chiclayo, and Piura.
In Peru, as elsewhere in Latin America, the number of digital labour platforms operating in the country has increased exponentially in recent years – making it essential to analyse the impacts on labour that this process has entailed. These new issues have also become entangled with older and still unresolved problems in the Peruvian labour market, including high rates of informal employment and the growing precariousness and instability of work. Gaps in the regulatory framework governing digital labour platforms and the absence of the state as a guarantor of workers’ rights, as well as the difficulties of unionisation in sectors characterised by wide geographic distribution, all serve to the increase the challenges for labour advocacy.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that the segment of the working population providing services through digital labour platforms constitutes a group that is not only strongly affected economically, but is also highly exposed to the risk of infection due to the nature of the work performed. In Peru, delivery services were classified as essential during the pandemic. Nonetheless, workers were not considered for any social or labour protection mechanism.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics, it is estimated that, during the quarter running from September to November in 2020, some 46 thousand people dedicated themselves to delivery services in Metropolitan Lima. That is 9 thousand more than the maximum reached before the pandemic. Thus, compared to the same quarter in 2019, employment in the home delivery sector increased by 98%, representing about 1.1% of the economically active population employed in Metropolitan Lima. This makes home delivery one of the 20 most popular jobs in the capital.
The objectives of the Fairwork team in Peru are to raise awareness of, and make visible, the large number of independent workers in the collaborative economy who lack meaningful social protections and fair working conditions; to involve as many stakeholders as possible and encourage productive dialogue between them; and to contribute to the design and formulation of the public policies -based on evidence- regarding employment on digital platforms.