The current pandemic crisis has accelerated the digital transition in Argentina. Having endured one of the world’s longest lockdowns during 2020, the country has seen a sharp increase in e-commerce and the usage of food delivery and ridesharing platforms. With low entry barriers to the labour market, these low-skill labour platforms have consolidated their role as a practical and flexible way of generating income for workers beyond traditional linear employment relationships.
However, the pandemic has also increased platform workers’ vulnerabilities and highlighted existing concerns regarding social and health protection, job insecurity and exposure to risks. The nature of platform work has also challenged the rights to organisation and collective bargaining, which has been partially addressed by pioneering efforts towards organising platform workers in Argentina. As a result, there is an ongoing debate on working conditions in the platform economy and the need to ensure adequate policies on labour market regulation. Currently, there are several initiatives at the National Congress to address these challenges.
Fairwork Argentina intends to contribute to fill the gap of reliable, consistent and accessible information on working conditions in the platform economy in Argentina. Through evidence and social dialogue, the team also expects to inform this debate and help build a fairer platform economy in the country.
The Fairwork project in Argentina will be led by CIPPEC (Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth), an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works for a just, democratic, and efficient state that improves people’s lives. CIPPEC concentrates its efforts on analysing and promoting public policies that foster equity and growth in Argentina.
CIPPEC’s Cities Programme has already been working on platform economy issues in Argentina, with a particular focus on ’geographically-tethered’ platforms. For the past four years, we have implemented the project “Platform Economy Development in Cities”, in partnership with the IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) group. Through this project, CIPPEC has developed the first comprehensive study of work conditions of digital platforms in Argentina, Platform Economy and Employment: What it is Like to Work for an App in Argentina?, along with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and IDB Lab.
The Fairwork project will be implemented by CIPPEC’s Cities Programme in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, which concentrates 40% of Argentina’s total population.
Fairwork Argentina will be funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of the Future of Work in the Global South (FoWiGS) initiative. The FOWIGS initiative aims at understanding the implications of technological change on jobs considering the specific contexts of developing countries and disadvantaged groups within these countries.