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Gig Economy to the Rescue For Job Seekers In Current Public Health Crisis

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PALM BEACH, Florida, March 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The GIG Economy is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. Uber and Lyft, have been connecting riders with drivers for some time now and now other apps are focusing on opening up more jobs for under, unemployed or laid-off workers in the restaurant industry during this public health crisis. The Wall Street Journal, in an article titled, The Gig Economy to the Rescue: The flexibility of app services is helping millions in the panic, recently said: “Americans have been urged to “social distance” and… to self-quarantine. A decade ago this would have been unpleasant but also impractical for most people. Fortunately, there’s now an app, or many, many apps, for that… Uber and Lyft launched the so-called gig economy a decade ago with apps that connect riders with drivers. These (new) apps now let customers order rides, groceries and food delivery through their smartphones.”  Active companies in the markets this week include ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY), Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB), Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK), Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER), Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT).

As a result of the public health crisis, a restaurant’s only means of generating revenue are to ramp up “to-go” orders, or to create a delivery program using their employees or third party services. The demand for delivery services has started to rise and with it, opportunities for gig work. A recent insider article addressed this growing demand: “With restaurant workers finding themselves with fewer hours and lost wages, DoorDash stated yesterday that it will be creating a “priority access program” to help workers at their restaurant partners sign up as delivery workers, “enabling them to meet their financial needs until their jobs return to normal.”  “This crisis is really a breakout moment for gig companies and for delivery companies in particular,” says Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter. “That shift to e-commerce, which was already happening very rapidly, is just going to accelerate.”

ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY) BREAKING NEWS:  ShiftPixy Enables Restaurant Operators to Stay Connected to Customers through Self-Delivery During Coronavirus Pandemic ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY), a California-based gig engagement platform provider, today discussed the Company’s increased levels of inbound interest due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you can imagine, we are busy responding to many inquiries from most of the national brands, all of which are trying to keep their employees busy and connected to their store, and wish to use our self-delivery platform to stay connected with customers,” stated ShiftPixy’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Absher. “In response to the pandemic, major cities including Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle have banned dine-in restaurants, restricting businesses to takeout and delivery exclusively. Using ShiftPixy’s driver management technology, restaurant operators can control delivery with their own staff without having to deal with the uncertainties of third-party delivery services. In partnership with ShiftPixy, these restaurants can train their staff to act as delivery drivers – repurposing their existing human capital while adjusting to the current needs of the marketplace.”

Mr. Absher concluded, “Coronavirus is hitting all aspects of society hard, and restaurants have had a particularly rough time. Our technology provides a native delivery opportunity to allow multi-unit operators to remain operational in this very challenging environment.”

ShiftPixy’s platform includes two layers: the first revolves around building operators a robust, easy-to-use digital ordering platform that boosts customer engagement and spending, while the second handles driver management, intercepting online orders, finding a designated driver, creating a driver route, and communicating with the customer as the order is completed. Read this and more news for ShiftPixy athttps://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-pixy/  http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/pixy.html

Other recent developments in the markets this week include:

Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) In collaboration with the mayors of large cities across the United States who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts, Grubhub recently announced it is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide. Grubhub’s initiative will provide immediate and substantial cash flow relief to qualified independent restaurants – restaurants that make up the majority of Grubhub’s 350,000+ restaurant community and drive more than 80 percent of the company’s orders.

Matt Maloney, Grubhub Founder and CEO said: “Independent restaurants are the lifeblood of our cities and feed our communities. They have been amazing long-term partners for us, and we wanted to help them in their time of need. Our business is their business – so this was an easy decision for us to make.”

Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK) recently reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 31, 2020. “We continue to see significant momentum in our enterprise business and finished the year with 70 customers spending more than $1 million annually on Slack, up 79% year-over-year,” said Stewart Butterfield, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Slack. “As the shift from email to channel-based messaging platforms continues, the largest companies around the world are choosing to standardize on Slack because of our enterprise-grade scalability, security, open platform, ease-of-use and innovative roadmap.”

“We finished the year with 110,000 paid customers and 893 customers spending more than $100,000 annually with Slack,” said Allen Shim, Chief Financial Officer at Slack. “Slack has created a new category of enterprise software and companies large and small are choosing us to enable a better way of working, with unique-to-Slack features including shared channels and Workflow Builder. While we invest in innovation and delivering more value to our customers, we also are showing significant leverage and remain on track to hit our growth phase target of free cash flow positive.”

Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) were the subjects of a recent article in Bloomberg stating: “(Bloomberg) – Ride-hailing companies are beginning to taking far-reaching steps in response to plummeting demand and economic hardships facing their drivers.

In a bid to prop up earnings for existing drivers as the coronavirus freezes normal activity, Lyft Inc. said Wednesday it will stop adding new drivers to its platform in many cities. Uber Technologies Inc. said it slashed nearly all marketing campaigns designed to recruit drivers and is evaluating whether to follow Lyft in limiting the ability for workers to sign up.

Spending on Lyft and Uber has been falling across the U.S. in the last couple weeks, mirroring slowdowns in other countries during the virus outbreak. Each company saw a decline of about 20% last week compared with the week before, according to Edison Trends, a research firm.

DISCLAIMER:  FN Media Group LLC (FNM), which owns and operates FinancialNewsMedia.com and MarketNewsUpdates.com, is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. FNM and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. FNM’s market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material.  All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release. FNM is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers.  Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks.  For current services performed FNM has been compensated forty six hundred dollars for news coverage of the press release issued by ShiftPixy, Inc. by the Company. FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company’s annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and FNM undertakes no obligation to update such statements.

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Workers pay price as gig economy avoids regulations, inquiry finds

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Despite being commissioned by the Victorian government, Ms James found the federal government was best placed to drive change, given its responsibility for the national system of workplace laws.

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She recommended the development of a code of conduct to better protect on-demand workers, the removal of barriers to collective bargaining, and a one-stop-shop support agency to help workers when disputes arise.

If the federal government would not lead, Victoria should work with other states to drive legislative changes to offer greater fairness for platform workers, she said.

While he would not comment specifically on the recommendations, state Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said there was a clear need for laws to be tightened to support gig workers.

“The gig economy is relied upon by millions of consumers and workers across the country, but there are holes when it comes to industrial relations that put workers’ rights to fair pay and conditions at risk,” he said.

Previously, Mr Pallas had indicated the state could act alone to bolster protections for gig economy workers.

On-demand workers are more likely to be young, urban and male. People who speak a language other than English at home are 1.5 times more likely to be platform workers.

An estimated 40 per cent of on-demand workers surveyed as part of the inquiry were not even aware of their rates of pay.

“Platforms have been deliberate in framing their arrangements with workers,” Ms James found.

“This enables platforms to avoid the operation of close and detailed labour regulation while other businesses are carrying the costs of complying with those requirements.”

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Those pressures are becoming more acute as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic tear through every aspect of society, Ms James told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

“What we have is a large number of people in need of income, looking for work in a labour market which has now become even more competitive,” she said.

“So the gig economy has provided invaluable access to work for people, but also under terms and conditions that are not regulated. And so what we have is vulnerable people with very little leverage in the labour market really, with little or no capacity to have a say in what the arrangements are in place in order to access this work.”

Zaheer Qazi spent three years working for Uber and Deliveroo while he completed his degree in Melbourne. During that time he was also the national welfare officer for the Council of International Students Australia.

Mr Qazi said he had been told horror stories about international students working for food delivery sites being attacked but having little recourse to workplace support or compensation.

“People are feeling more fearful with COVID,” he said. “They can’t afford to lose work and these companies know it.”

Zaheer Qazi says "fearful" gig workers "can't afford to lose work and these companies know it".

Zaheer Qazi says “fearful” gig workers “can’t afford to lose work and these companies know it”.Credit:Joe Armao

Freelancer.com chief executive Matt Barrie said while other platforms limited the amount of pay workers received, his company “liberates workers”.

“The gig economy is not one homogenous industry with a uniform business model,” he said.

“Any legislation must be cognisant of that and should be at the federal level, not the state level.”

Airtasker chief executive Tim Fung said the gig economy comprised a number of different platform types. “The needs of workers on each of these different platforms should be prioritised when considering how best to apply a regulatory framework.”

A Deliveroo spokeswoman declined to comment. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald also approached Uber for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Christian Porter said given Mr Porter had not seen the report, he could not comment on its findings or recommendations.

In January, Mr Porter said: “The evolution of the gig economy also presents challenges which the government is committed to addressing.”

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GIG Car Share Chooses the Ridecell Platform for its Expansion into Seattle | News

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ridecell Inc., the leading platform provider for shared mobility operators, today announced that GIG Car Share, powered by AAA Northern California, will use the Ridecell High-yield Mobility Platform for its expansion to Seattle. Gig already uses Ridecell for its other operating cities, including Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Ridecell platform enables Gig to operate its fleet efficiently while giving members a frictionless experience, including quick reservation on the Gig app plus keyless entry and Gig free parking locator within the app. Ridecell also keeps track of cars for easy service, cleaning and return, minimizing downtime and maximizing profitability.

Gig Seattle will begin with 250 brand new Toyota Prius XLE hybrid cars that seat five comfortably and provide outstanding fuel efficiency. The Ridecell platform provides Gig with end-to-end automation, instant driver verification, payment processing, on-demand scheduling, and custom analytics. In addition, the platform tracks vehicle locations to ensure safety and speedy service when needed.

“Gig has grown to be the largest* free-floating car sharing service in the country, despite the tough times most transportation services are facing,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “Gig’s great customer service orientation combined with our platform, has helped the company continue to succeed where other companies have faltered. We’re proud to continue our partnership with them as they enter the Seattle market.”

Ridecell offers the world’s only end-to-end platform for all types of mobility, including car sharing, ridehailing, and short-term vehicle subscriptions. The platform is designed to create high-yield mobility businesses for greater profitability. For more information, visit www.ridecell.com

About Ridecell

Ridecell helps companies build and operate profitable mobility businesses. With the company’s High-yield Mobility™ SaaS toolkit of intelligent software, business services, and ecosystem partners, Ridecell customers maximize three key profit drivers: customer experience, fleet utilization, and operational efficiency.

Founded in 2009, today, Ridecell powers some of the most successful mobility services in cities across Europe and North America. These services include ZITY from Ferrovial and Groupe Renault, Gig Car Share from AAA Northern California, and Blu Smart EV ride sharing service.

Ridecell is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with more than 170 employees in offices across the globe.

About GIG Car Share
GIG Car Share, a service from AAA Northern California, is the largest free-floating car share in the nation.* In three years, Gig has grown to more than 65,000 members and operates more than 1,000 cars across Northern California (Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento) and Seattle, Washington. The service launched in 2017 as the first venture from A3Ventures, AAA’s innovation lab based in Berkeley, Calif. Learn more at gigcarshare.com.

*Based on the size of its fleet as of 6/1/2020

Media Contact:
Jane Gideon
Tel: 415-682-9292
Email: press@ridecell.com

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Gig workers say pay decided by algorithm is unfair

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Same-day delivery has been a growing part of Target’s business during the pandemic. But Target employees don’t do most of the work picking up merchandise from stores and delivering it to customers’ homes. Instead, it’s mostly handled by gig workers hired through a platform called Shipt.

This week, some of them are protesting its new pay structure. Instead of being paid a set rate per order, an algorithm will weigh how busy a store is, how bad street traffic is and other factors to set the pay for an order.

Algorithms are foundational to how gig platforms like Uber or Instacart do business. Most users are familiar with surge pricing, where prices vary depending on demand. But that’s just part of a complex web of algorithms that affect everything from which jobs a gig worker is offered to how much they get paid for them.

“I really compare it to like the wizard behind the curtain in ‘Wizard of Oz,’” said Carlos Ramos, a ride-hailing driver in San Diego for the past three years. “Stuff is happening back there, and you have no idea what’s going on.”

Ramos has noticed some patterns: When he first logs on, he seems to be offered a lot of shorter, less lucrative rides until he decides to call it a day and head home.

“And then I’ll get a request for a hundred-mile trip in the other direction,” he said. “This has happened time and time again.”

He thinks it’s because of Lyft’s algorithm, but he can’t be sure because companies keep their software secret.

“We have no idea,” said Veena Dubal, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. “Everything that we know about the algorithms is based on what workers tell us they experience.”

Dubal has surveyed hundreds of gig workers to tease out how the algorithms work, and she’s concluded they’re designed to keep workers logged on for as little pay as possible.

“They therefore cannot predict their income on any given day or any given shift,” she said.

These systems cause financial uncertainty that puts workers at a disadvantage, said Kate Crawford, the co-founder of the AI Now Institute at New York University.

“These algorithmic systems are essentially increasing the power asymmetry between workers and employers to quite an extreme degree,” she said.

While each platform has unique algorithms, they all have a common objective, she said: to maximize profits, often at the expense of workers.

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