Spanish food delivery riders want right to be self-employed

Food delivery workers have staged protests across Spain, saying they would support a planned new law regulating their sector only if it allows them to remain self-employed

ByThe Associated Press
March 08, 2021, 1:13 PM
Delivery riders gather to protest outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Wednesday March 3, 2021. Food delivery workers have staged protests across Spain, urging the government to approve a promised law granting them the right to choose between be
Delivery riders gather to protest outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Wednesday March 3, 2021. Food delivery workers have staged protests across Spain, urging the government to approve a promised law granting them the right to choose between being company staff or self-employed. Media reports said more than 2,000 delivery riders gathered to protest in at least 10 Spanish cities on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Paul White)
The Associated Press

MADRID -- Food delivery workers protested across Spain on Wednesday, saying they would support a planned new law regulating their sector only if it allows them to remain self-employed.

More than 2,000 delivery riders gathered to protest in at least 10 Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, private news agency Europa Press reported.

The proposed legal changes are the latest affecting companies and workers in the gig economy. Last month, Britain’s top court ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, in what was seen as a major setback for the ride-hailing giant.

Digital platforms offering food deliveries, such as Deliveroo, Uber and Glovo, have boomed in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic as people spend more time staying at home.

The Spanish government initially consulted groups representing the workers as it drew up the new law, known as “ley rider.” But those groups now complain they are being ignored and that the legislation is overdue.

The secretary of state for employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, said Tuesday the government is putting the finishing touches to the law, which he called “an extremely complex matter,” and said its publication is “imminent.”

Spanish media reports say the government may give companies a three-month grace period to register their workers as employees.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events