Brazil's Lula proposes law to regulate labor on ride-hailing apps


  • World
  • Tuesday, 05 Mar 2024

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a news conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/ FILE PHOTO

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sent a bill to congress on Monday to regulate labor rights of workers from ride-hailing apps in the country, which includes the need to pay a minimum wage.

The proposal, which might affect ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Chinese Didi's 99, must be approved by the Senate and Lower House to become a law.

"The debate in Congress won't be easy", Lula said on Monday in an event.

Uber said in a statement it sees the bill as "an important milestone towards balanced regulation of work intermediated by platforms.".

99 did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

The bill says ride-hailing apps would have to pay at least the country's minimum wage, which currently stands at 1,412 reais ($285.37), to eight-hours per day workers. There would also be a cap of 12 working hours per day counting all platforms.

Most recent data from the government's statistics agency IBGE, from 2022, showed Brazil had about 778,000 people who were working mainly with ride-hailing transport.

The bill also proposes to give ride-hailing workers rights such as a public pension and maternity benefits, in exchange for a social security contribution to be paid part by companies and part by the workers.

However, it follows recent courts decisions in the country on not determining the ride-hailing workers as employees. Consequently, it would not give right to paid vacations and other benefits.

"Workers will be linked to how many companies they wish, they will set their own working hours, but they will have rights", Brazil's labor minister, Luiz Marinho, said at the event, adding the government could raise almost 300 million reais per month with the social security contributions.

Lula added that now he wants to do the same with food-delivery companies.

($1 = 4.9479 reais)

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia, and Andre Romani in Sao Paulo; Editing by Steven Grattan and Alistair Bell)

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