As tech platforms expand the gig economy in a range of sectors, workers’ rights are weakened and companies circumvent labour rights through out-of-date legislation.
Gig economy contracts infringe on workers’ rights through insecure and unsafe work with little legal recourse. A growing part of the workforce has been turned into precarious workers, dependent on gigs from a few large platforms. An UberEats rider, for example, often makes less than minimum wage, has few rights as a contractor, and is in constant competition with their colleagues. Tech platforms side-step labor regulations and offload precarity of the market to the worker by hiring riders as contractors, or self-employed workers, instead of full employees.
Here we share some stories – mostly by local newspapers – on the impact these developments are having on people’s lives.
Poland: Glovo platform glitches lead to increased precarity for workers, leading them to develop hacks or work-arounds in the faulty system
Poland: Well-known video game is reported to have extremely poor working conditions and culture of fear behind the scenes
Poland: Technology project which surveils sales clerks in retail to measure friendliness by smiles is halted
The Netherlands: Amsterdam residents document the nuisance of dark stores on Instagram
The Netherlands: Amsterdam residents begin petitioning against the growing number of delivery companies occupying their neighbourhood
Germany: Gorillas delivery app fires hundreds of workers for going on strike
Europe: Uber ‘Quests’ lead to an increase in accidents
Platform Coops, who is involved?