Gig workers of the world...
Unite. But with whom?
The current “gig economy” is controlled by companies that completely depend on atomization of their “partners”, and on them never finding answers to questions like “How do you bargain for more when your boss is an app, you’re paid by an algorithm, and you haven’t met your coworkers?”
In March 2021, three of the UK’s largest asset managers pulled hundreds of billions out of purchasing Deliveroo’s stocks, citing concern over its labor practices. As a result, those stocks fell 31% in its first minutes of trading - and three months later was still well below the initial price.
Why? Because, says the Nation, coordination among Deliveroo riders finally became strong enough to make potential investors look for smarter ways to spend their money.
This is not the only case. The Nation describes several examples of this new coordination, starting with the International Alliance of App-based Transport Workers (IAATW), that explicitly calls for a global alliance against app-based transportation companies that are “destroying labor standards across the world.”
IAATW and similar organizations may have started to find effective answers to the initial questions of this post.
What is half unsurprising, half really, really interesting is that those answers from the gig worker themselves, using the simplest tools: “online forums, groupchats, and video calls.”
Those answers, that is, do not come from traditional unions. That may be the biggest news in that article.