ALBANY — Labor, technology and transportation groups say they’re puzzled after spending the past 24 hours scrambling to guess Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s motive as he jumped into discussions about regulating New York’s expansive gig economy.
Cuomo came out surprisingly strong in his State of the State address earlier this month — comparing the gig economy to sweatshops — but backed off in his budget speech and briefing book Tuesday with a few short lines about “reaffirming the rights of workers” statewide.
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Then, late Tuesday night, he released budget legislation to create a task force to address “the conditions of employment and classification of workers in the modern economy of on-demand workers connected to customers via the internet.” He thus waded into a complex battle regarding the rights of on-demand workers that’s shaping up in Albany even as a similar effort in California faces myriad court challenges.
If approved in the state budget due on March 31, Cuomo’s task force of business and labor representatives would include a Senate and Assembly appointee each, with the governor naming the other seven members.
Convening a group of experts is often seen in Albany as a warning sign that lawmakers want to punt on a difficult issue, and some Capitol insiders fretted on Wednesday that that’s indeed what will happen this year. They also said they’re struggling to interpret the impact of the sparsely detailed bill. But the Cuomo administration said it put a timeline on this one.
The task force would have a month to offer findings to the governor and Legislature, which would then have time to pass a bill before the final scheduled day of session June 2. In the name of actually getting something accomplished, the legislation also gives authority to the Department of Labor to make classifications determining the employee vs. contractor status of “digital marketplace workers” if the various interested parties can’t figure it out.
“It’s broad authority for DOL, but it’s broad authority that kicks in only if they can’t come to a compromise,” Cuomo attorney Beth Garvey said in an interview.
Staten Island Sen. Diane Savino, who sparked the conversation last year by introducing a contentious bill at the end of the 2019 session, said she agrees with the concept of forcing experts into a room together to construct a New York-specific solution.
“So there’s an incentive for everyone that comes up with a proposal that avoids the pitfalls in California — that means we don’t have daily running list of running exemptions or lawsuits,” said Savino, a Democrat. “If not he’ll [Cuomo] instruct the Department of Labor to come up with their own regulations, and nobody wants that.”
Even with such motivation to collaborate, backlash from big tech groups like Uber and Lyft alongside input from a whopping range of the labor force — from truckers to nail salon workers to freelance writers — ensures that compromise won’t come easy. Labor, too, has grappled with the most inclusive way to protect members and the strength of their organizations. Some union leaders are leaning toward a bill like the one California passed, with others shunning it altogether as a promise that the state will be locked in court battles for years to come.
Despite all of that, Sen. John Liu (D-Queens) said he’s introducing a bill “very soon” that is remarkably similar to California’s new law, which broadly dictates that more workers should be treated as employees rather than independent contractors.
Liu said he’s glad Cuomo has recognized the importance of the issue, but he’s certain a comprehensive fix can be reshaped from California’s stab at a solution.
“If he wants to address it appropriately and comprehensively in the budget then I’m all for it,” Liu said. “If it’s missing large parts of the provisions that my bill would address then it’s nothing. We don’t need more task forces.”
“You know what, California, they are the first, and sometimes it’s good to be the second,” he added. “We’ll figure out what has worked there, and we have the benefit of learning from someone with a little bit of experience.”
Others with skin in the game say they’re still unclear about Cuomo’s level of seriousness, but they’re glad the issue hasn’t dropped off entirely in an election year already filled with sticky debates.
“No matter the forum, we are ready to discuss solutions that provide workers with the protections they deserve while maintaining the flexibility they want and the economic growth vital to the state,” said Jason Kaplan, spokesperson for the new gig economy-backed “Flexible Work for New York” coalition.
Mario Cilento, president of the state AFL-CIO, said a framework to provide additional “rights and protections” regardless of the task force’s outcome is a good sign the issue has made progress in the past six months of discussions and hearings.
“We certainly are in a better place now than we were at the end of last session,” he said in a statement.
Weekend Extra: Artist Qubek tells Metro how he’s livening up closed gig venues
AS CORONAVIRUS closed music venues and independent creative businesses across the country, street artists painted their towns red, green, blue and pink, bringing colour to the shutters and raising a much-needed smile. A world away from the old image of outlaws daubing graffiti on buildings in the dead of night, this is commissioned art, bringing creativity to empty spaces with the full blessing of the site owners.
In Manchester, muralist Qubek was invited to remind passers-by of the good times they’ve enjoyed at live music hotspots by painting the closed shutters of the O2 Victoria Warehouse and O2 Ritz Manchester. As part of O2’s national This Is Just An Interval campaign, the venues’ exteriors have a new look while fans await the return of live music.
‘It was quite an emotional thing for me, really, remembering the great times I’ve had in those venues, particularly the Ritz, which was where I had my first big nights out,’ Qubek recalls. ‘I used to go there every Wednesday with my mates, so I’ve loved the opportunity from O2 to express myself on the venue.
‘At first, I wasn’t really sure how to sum that up, but as I got started I realised that, for me, it’s all about the people who make these venues what they are: the musicians and the people who work across the gig economy, and how hard it is for them at the moment.
‘The lonely microphone on the floor of an empty venue is symbolic of how people are feeling right now, not knowing when things are going to get better, but adding the text “this is just an interval” gives the piece a message of hope. That’s my idea behind it, anyway.’
As the artist behind Manchester’s famous bee murals, he is used to capturing the city’s creative, industrious spirit. His depiction of 22 bees which adorns the Northern Quarter’s Koffee Pot commemorate the lives lost in 2017’s Manchester Arena attack, and act as a moving reminder of the city’s spirit and creativity.
‘I’ve painted bees for years, little Manchester worker bees, I’ve always loved them as signifying the hardworking people of the city,’ explains Qubek. ‘But it was after the arena attack and the tragedy there that they became particularly poignant for a lot of people, and I was asked to do more of them.
‘It was an opportunity to try to help at a time where we all felt pretty hopeless — and I think if you have an opportunity to put something back, you should always try to take it. The ones I’ve painted so far have been auctioned for about £90,000 for charity.’ Qubek, who lives in Old Trafford with his partner and young family, is also keen to put as much as he can back into the wider community.
‘Other than commissions, I do a lot of work running workshops for young people and helping them channel their creativity with public art,’ he explains.
‘There’s an idea that we are all running around at night spray-painting train carriages, and while there are people who do, and I did start out being a bit naughty where I sprayed, the vast majority of us are working on positive artwork, designed to inspire the community.
‘I see so many talented kids coming through, and it’s really hard for them these days to find an outlet for that creativity. There is a great community on Instagram, too. Every day, I look at the murals and street art being done around the world and it takes your breath away. We’re part of an amazing global movement.
‘That was the thing for me about the dropped mic and us all waiting for live music to return. The creative community is huge, and whether that’s as artists, musicians, writers or any of the other industries in the gig economy, we are all part of a wider community supporting each other.’
■ Instagram @qubekmanchester
COVID-19 Impact on Gig Economy Market 2020- future development, manufacturers, trends, share, size and forecast details shared in the report – Owned
Let’s begin with, why research is important for Gig Economy Market? It is always important because it gives direction to deal with a specific problem. Report Ocean has recently published a market research report on the Gig Economy Market which will provide you a leading direction of Gig Economy Market. This research report keenly focusses on development status and recent trends of the Gig Economy Market, along with competitive landscape, supply chain, market dynamics (opportunities, restraints, and drivers), government policies and opportunities.
The Gig Economy Market report provides a detailed analysis of the global market size, regional and country-level market size, segment growth, market share, competitive landscape, sales analysis, impact of domestic and global market players, value chain optimization, trade regulations, recent developments, opportunity analysis, strategic market growth analysis, product launches, and technological innovations.
COVID 19 Impact on Gig Economy Market
This research study also includes the analyses related to the impact of Covid-19 on the Gig Economy Market. The global impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may significantly affect the growth of the Gig Economy Market in near future. As per the experts’ viewpoints, it affects the global economy in 3 major ways:
• By directly affecting demand and production chain
• By creating market disturbance and supply chain
• By impacting the firms financially and influencing the financial markets
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Key players in the global Gig Economy market covered in Chapter 4:
In this chapter will provide you a complete description of competitors and their relative position in Gig Economy Market. We will provide you the information about major players, their products, prices, market share, current strategies and main strengths and weaknesses. In this competitive world, it is indispensable to understand who the rivals are and how they usually perform with the purpose of improving its own market position. Direct and indirect competitors should be identified and analyzed. This valuable information will support decision makers when defining and evaluating company strategies.
For a business to grow, you always need to look at the specific group of consumers. It also helps you to avoid the cost of advertising and distributing to a mass market. In this section, we mainly focused on subdivision of the Gig Economy Market into compatible subsections of customers where any subsection may be selected as a market target to be reached with a unique marketing mix
Geographically, the report includes the detailed research on market share, growth rate, consumption, production, revenue and forecast of the following regions:
• United States
• Central and South America (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia)
• Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Poland)
• Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam)
• Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria)
Some of the Major Highlights of TOC covers:
• Study Scope
• Key Market Segments
• Regulatory Scenario by Region/Country
• Market Investment Scenario Strategic
Global Market Growth Trends
• Industry Trends
• SWOT Analysis
• Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
• Potential Market and Growth Potential Analysis
• Industry News and Policies by Regions
• Industry News
• Industry Policies
• Industry Trends Under COVID-19
Value Chain of Gig Economy Market
• Value Chain Status
• Gig Economy Market Manufacturing Cost Structure Analysis
• Production Process Analysis
• Manufacturing Cost Structure of Gig Economy Market
• Labor Cost of Gig Economy Market
• Labor Cost of Gig Economy Market Under COVID-19
• Sales and Marketing Model Analysis
• Downstream Major Customer Analysis (by Region)
• Value Chain Status Under COVID-19
Gig Economy Market Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type
• Production and Market Share by Type
• Revenue and Market Share by Type
• Price by Type
Gig Economy Market Production, Consumption, Export, Import by Region
• Production, Consumption, Export, Import by Region
• Production, Consumption, Export, Import by Country
• Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin
Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers
• Gig Economy Market Industrial Chain Analysis
• Raw Materials Sources of Gig Economy Market major Players in 2019
• Downstream Buyers
Gig Economy Market Forecast
• Gig Economy Market Sales, Revenue and Growth Rate
• Gig Economy Market Production, Consumption, Export and Import Forecast by Region
• Gig Economy Market Production, Revenue and Price Forecast by Type
• Gig Economy Market Consumption Forecast by Application
• Gig Economy Market Forecast Under COVID-19
Years considered for this report:
• Historical Years: 2015-2019
• Base Year: 2019
• Estimated Year: 2020
• Forecast Period: 2020-2026
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Coronavirus and careers: Preparing pupils for the gig economy
A new economy that requires aspirational young people to effectively become captains of their own cottage industries will require schools to think very differently.
If pandemics are truly like wars, in speeding up pre-existing social trends, then we can expect the transition from open-plan office to remote working to continue apace. Although teleconferencing and hot-desking had hinted at a work-based evolution, it feels like we’ve suddenly been catapulted into 2030.
The “fire and rehire” transition of salaried employees to outsourced contractors who work from home is another trend that is likely to accelerate as businesses cut costs to survive.
Seen in those terms, the atomising effect of working from home is just the natural next step in the already well-advanced Uberisation of the workforce.
But it’s also clear that the pandemic will extend the reach of an irreversible gig economy into new sectors, where much of the work is highly skilled and well-paid.
Schools will need to change their definition of work-readiness
Now that remote working is not only possible but highly desirable, schools will need to transform their definition of work-readiness, so as to avoid leaving their children at a competitive disadvantage in this most challenging of job markets. Schools that have been able to make distance learning work have already helped their pupils to develop highly marketable entry-level skills for the networked home offices of the new economy.
And schools with sixth-forms will have an obvious ongoing advantage here. With physical classroom space at a premium, sixth-formers are likely to receive a blend of seminars and autonomous study, scaffolded around well-resourced activities on e-learning platforms. It’s hard to imagine better preparation for university study and professional life.
Recency bias (the tendency to give greater weight to recent events than to those in the past) makes self-employment appear a particularly scary prospect right now. But, lest we forget, self-employment before the pandemic had surged to 5 million, representing 15 per cent of the workforce. Young people, in particular, were drawn to the flexibility and freedom of being their own boss.
The problem was that many young people only realised this after a demoralising first contact with the job market. Too many people leaving education acquire a lifestyle, then look for jobs to pay their way. By the time they realise that making a living and having a life are mutually exclusive goals, it’s too late.
The entrepreneurial agility and financial pre-planning needed for successful self-employment need to be explicitly taught, so that those leaving full-time education can start up and grow businesses, before acquiring life’s overhead costs.
A psychological adjustment
When the 2020s’ equivalent of the 1980s’ Enterprise Allowance Scheme is inevitably launched, we need to make sure that our students have been primed to seize the opportunity.
In the past, it took old-school-tie connections to monetise a hobby into a career. But the internet has literally brought start-up entrepreneurship to the kitchen table. For the cost of a laptop, phone and wi-fi connection, we can help a million cottage industries bloom.
With 7 per cent of the gig economy self-identifying as “slashies” (people with portfolio careers) before the pandemic, we can expect to meet more and more people who are web designers/dog walkers/bar workers, as they attempt to use makeshift gigs to finance passion-project careers.
Schools will need to make a psychological adjustment to see that now “the job” is just a subset of “work”. Even before the pandemic, it was clear that the steady job for life – for so long the diesel engine of social mobility – was in trouble. Now, even with subsidised internship initiatives like Kickstart, it still looks like an endangered species.
Back in the 1980s, when the steady job really was the only gig in town, a decade of youth unemployment psychologically scarred a generation. But this time, even as unemployment soars, our pupils need to understand how they can make the gig economy work for them.
If we want our pupils to develop the resilience, versatility and agility they’re going to need, we’ll need to model those behaviours by baking entrepreneurial soft skills into the curriculum, and rebuilding the status of vocational qualifications as a matter of urgency.
Sean Smith is a retired vice-principal and a freelance education journalist
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