The Covid-19 crisis has had a heavy impact on employment in Latin America, especially of the informal variety, triggering increased but often precarious jobs on digital platforms, a joint report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL in its Spanish acronym) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned this week.
Labor markets in the region will take time to recover from the heavy impact of the pandemic with the deeper destruction hitting informal employment, the Cycles of Work in Latin America and the Caribbean report published by CEPAL and the ILO indicated.
Last year saw an economic contraction of 7.1 percent in Latin America with an unemployment rate in the region reaching 10.5 percent.
The suspension of on-the-job work and traffic restrictions produced by the pandemic have led to the proliferation of the home office, alongside jobs connected to digital platforms like Amazon sales and Mobike or WeWork, involving motorcycles and bicycles, as well as the exchange of goods (like Mercado Libre), the transport of people and the delivery of various products, also extending to communications and social networks.
“The conditions of these jobs are heterogeneous but generally present certain characteristics that do not meet the criteria of a decent job, characterized by working relationships that differ from both salaried work and self-employment, most often not covered by labor laws, “the report warns, adding:” Although these forms represent new employment opportunities, they tend to contribute to a more precarious labor market. “
During the pandemic, this type of work increased due to the need to reduce personal contact while maintaining the distribution of essential goods during quarantine.
“Evidence suggests that this type of work is highly precarious and unstable, characterized by long hours, lack of social protection and lack of options for dialogue and representation,” the report says.
Due to the household survey, the main sources of information for the analysis of the labor market, not being designed to identify this type of jobs, no estimate of the relevance they have acquired on the Latin American labor markets are provided.
In countries like Argentina, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, up to one percent of employees are considered to now work for digital platforms.
In Argentina, between four and five workers out of six of the delivery platforms are immigrants, according to the study. Likewise, in Chile, around 70 percent of delivery men are foreigners.
The report stresses the need to design appropriate regulatory frameworks to establish and protect the labor rights of these workers, such as clear and transparent contracts while protecting their personal and professional data so that they can exercise their right to collective bargaining. and avoid discrimination with social assistance is also conceded.
– TIME / AFP