Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has challenged the Morrison government to take up the fight to gig-economy companies in same way it has technology giants Google and Facebook.
Mr Albanese continued his campaign for industrial relations reform on Thursday, inviting rideshare and food delivery drivers to Parliament House to highlight poor working conditions in the sector.
Labor plans to boost workers' rights if it wins the next federal election, a move which could set up a brawl with major players in the sector.
Asked if he was prepared to fight big global companies during an election campaign, Mr Albanese drew parallels with laws passed this week to ensure tech giants Google and Facebook paid news organisations for content.
He argued that just as the Morrison government was using the media bargaining code to help protect the jobs of journalists, it should legislate to support gig-economy workers.
Mr Albanese said in both cases new laws were needed to deal with issues which had emerged in the past decade.
"The government, opposition and this Parliament have been prepared to take tough decisions. We have been prepared to stand ground, to legislate for a code, and to do that in order to defend Australia's national interests and defend the jobs of journalists," he told reporters.
"Labor stood with the government on those issues. It was the right thing to do.
"[Gig-economy workers] James, Ashley and Malcolm deserve as much respect and dignity as the [journalists] at this press conference. They deserve it.
"Josh Frydenberg got onto Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook. Why isn't the government prepared to negotiate on behalf of these people?"
Responding to Mr Albanese in question time on Thursday, Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said while the government was "not cheerleading for the gig-economy platforms", the concept of effectively handing contractors the same rights as employees was complicated.
He highlighted a range of potential consequences in making the change, including higher costs for consumers.
Mr Porter also used his response to condemn food delivery company Hungry Panda, which has admitted to failing to promptly notify authorities about the death of one of his riders in September last year.
Hungry Panda employee James Yang had revealed at Mr Albanese's press conference that he was kicked off the platform after he tried to lobby the company to stop reducing rider wages.
Mr Porter said he had spoken with Mr Yang and described his experience as "not a happy one".
"Hungry Panda and their conduct has been very, very bad," he said.
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