Connect with us

Economy

Coronavirus and the uncomfortable calculus of the gig economy

Published

on

In this incredibly strange, unnerving moment in history, we are all engaged in weird little games of calculus. For me, tasked with looking after my elderly parents, a once simple decision has suddenly become complicated: how to best get groceries?

Recently, following guidelines from various authorities, I used Instacart to get things delivered. When the Instacart worker dropped off the bags on my folks’ porch, I donned a pair of bright yellow dishwashing gloves to bring them inside. I am reasonably sure he saw this from his car. I felt awful.

The decision I had implicitly made was this: It was better for the Instacart worker to expose himself to risk in a grocery store than it was my 73-year-old mother or, for that matter, me.

This is what the COVID-19 phenomenon has revealed: the workers of the gig economy are used to offload inconvenience, hardship — and now, risk. And as those who work for Instacart, Uber, and others are now agitating around that fact, and even going on strike as a result, perhaps it’s time for a renewed labor movement — one that takes up the precariousness of these workers as its main cause.

After all, among the stranger things about the gig economy is that, for all its shiny rhetoric about modernity and freedom, it has produced an army of workers who live in a kind of Dickensian hardship. Cities across the continent are filled with people sweating on bicycles delivering food, or in cars inching their way through snow or traffic to drop off groceries to people in large detached homes. Pay is low — often hovering just near minimum wage — while protections and benefits are mostly non-existent, thanks to companies fighting tooth and nail not to classify these workers as traditional employees.

It betrays an uncomfortable reality, but one that should be clear by now: the convenience of the gig economy in which a burger and fries can just show up at your door is predicated on the physical labor of poorly paid workers.

But the current situation has made this reality far more troubling because, in addition to hardship and precarity, workers are now the ones assuming the risk inherent during a pandemic, exposing both themselves and their families and loved ones to infection. Moreover, given the comparatively low wages, it is not as if they can simply stop working, or apply for government benefits; instead they are trapped between poverty and risk.

It’s for this reason that Instacart workers, for example, organized a strike at the end of March, to insist upon hazard pay and better safety practices for the company in general.

It’s a heartening moment. But alas, the nascent movement faces two problems. Firstly, with demand for these services up, and so many people in restaurants and other industries out of work, companies are on a hiring spree which may drown out any labor uprising. Secondly, Instacart has a valuation of about 8 billion dollars, while Uber’s market cap is 43 billion dollars. Meanwhile, though some of Amazon’s warehouse workers are also protesting their current working conditions, that company is worth over a trillion. With resources like that, resisting both their firepower and their ability to just keep hiring more people is incredibly difficult.

Ironically, what the era of the virus has also highlighted is that, in the abstract, not all ideas related to the new gig economy are bad. As services like Instacart have proven, the ability to, say, have groceries delivered for seniors, people with limited mobility, or those who are immunocompromised is very useful, even lifesaving.

But it’s the implementation and exploitation that is at fault here. While companies rack up enormous valuations on the backs of venture capital, everyday workers are pushed into subsistence wages and a lack of safety, health care, and security.

Some history can be illuminating. For example, few would argue that the Industrial Revolution was a net negative; it was that shift to mass, specialized production that filled our lives with relative comfort. But in its early days, factories were dangerous, dirty, and even filled with child workers.

It was only the rise of the labor movement that was able to act as a counterbalance to the way in which each successive phase of capitalism predicates rapid growth on exploiting workers, and instead provide protection while also allowing opportunities for people to work.

Now, the era of COVID-19 has made it startlingly clear that the gig economy requires a similar collective pushback against the companies that have built businesses on the backs of delivery people, drivers, and warehouse workers. It is, after all, a time of complicated, hard decisions; and as helpful as the many facets of the gig economy can be, it is time to treat gig workers as employees, and give them the many protections that category of people so rightly deserves.

Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week’s “Today’s best articles” newsletter here.



Source link

Economy

Gig firms to contribute 1-2% of turnover for social security of workers

Published

on

By

Gig companies will soon have to allot one-two per cent of their annual turnover for social security funds of their workers, according to a new labour law scheduled to be tabled in the Parliament on Saturday. This is the first time that “aggregators”—ride-sharing services, food and grocery delivery, logistic services, e-market places among them”—will be asked to contribute for the social security of gig economy workers.

The Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 however, puts a cap on the total contributions companies have to make. The contribution …





Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Gig Economy Market Comprehensive Analysis, Share, Growth Forecast from 2020 to 2025

Published

on

By

Global Gig Economy Market Research Report presents the overview and in depth study of worldwide Gig Economy Market for achieving throughout understanding and business intelligence of the market with the Financial & Industrial Analysis of key players, companies, region, types, applications and its future scope in the industry till 2025.

The research report on Gig Economy market evaluates the major trends which define the industry growth in terms of the regional scope as well as the competitive landscape. It also highlights the challenges & restraints faced by the leading companies along with the key growth opportunities that will assist in business expansion.

Request Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.theresearchprocess.com/request-sample/5792

The document is also inclusive of information such as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the revenue generation of this business sphere, further allowing for better understanding among stakeholders.


Gig Economy  Market Comprehensive Analysis, Share, Growth Forecast from 2020 to 2025

Gig Economy Market Comprehensive Analysis, Share, Growth Forecast from 2020 to 2025

Request Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.theresearchprocess.com/request-sample/5792

Key insights to COVID-19 impact analysis:

  • Worldwide COVID-19 status and subsequent economic overview.
  • Impact on demand and supply chain processes of this industry vertical.
  • Short and long term effects of Coronavirus outbreak on the industry development.

A summary of the regional terrain:

  • The report bifurcates the geographical landscape into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, South America.
  • It offers a comprehensive overview of each of the regional market in terms of their individual growth rate over the study duration.
  • Additional data such as revenues and sales generated by every region listed is also mentioned.

Other key aspects from the Gig Economy market report:

  • As per the report, the competitive spectrum of the Gig Economy market is formulated by organizations such as Prosper,Lime,Etsy,BlaBlaCar,VaShare,Envato Studio,Fon,BHU Technology,Didi Global,Snap,Freelancer.com,Zipcar,Uber,Toptal,Stashbee,Eatwith,Lyft,Couchsurfing,PeoplePerHour,Spotahome,Care.como,E-stronger,Silvernest,Upwork,Fiverr,Steam,Hubble,Home Away,Omni,Airbnb,JustPark andAirtasker.
  • Crucial insights such as company profile, product offerings, production capabilities, gross margins, pricing patterns and overall market share held by each firm is offered.
  • Meanwhile, the product landscape of the Gig Economy market is split into Asset-Sharing Services,Transportation-Based Services,Professional Services,Household & Miscellaneous Services (HGHM) andOthers.
  • Data pertaining to volume and revenue predictions of every product fragment over the forecast period is documented.
  • Additional details including production patterns, market share and estimated growth rate of all the product types is enumerated.
  • The application scope of the Gig Economy market comprises of Traffic,Electronic,Accommodation,Food and Beverage,Tourism,Education andOthers.
  • The report measures the market share of every application segment and subsequently predicts their respective growth rate over the estimated timeframe.
  • It also elaborates on the industry supply chain as well as the other competition trends.
  • The study conducts a detailed SWOT as well as five Porter’s analysis in order to allow for better decision-making during investment evaluation.

Major highlights of the Gig Economy market report:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on revenue streams for Gig Economy market players.
  • Calculations of total sales value and total market revenue.
  • Deteriorating trends in the industry.
  • The estimated growth rate of the Gig Economy market.
  • Detailed information on major distributors, retailers, and traders.

Key findings of the report:

  • Intricate assessment of the competitive landscape of the Gig Economy Market
  • Country-specific analysis of the supply-demand ration for the Soundbar different geographies
  • Influence of technological advancements on the Gig Economy Market
  • SWOT analysis of each company profiled in the report

Request Customization on This Report @ https://www.theresearchprocess.com/request-for-customization/5792

Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Collaboration in the Gig Economy

Published

on

By

September 18, 2020

Utmost Software Inc. was the judges’ pick among four workforce ecosystem technology startups presenting in a competition styled after the television show Shark Tank on Thursday. The event was part of the Collaboration in the Gig Economy virtual conference bringing together staffing firms, buyers and HR tech.

All four finalists were chosen from a number of firms to present before a panel of four judges, who picked their top startup.

Utmost provides software that enables enterprise firms to track their extended workforces, which include contingent workers, consultants, contractors and freelancers, among others. Unlike VMS providers, which are typically supplier-paid, the company has a set pricing model that is paid by enterprise firms themselves.

Utmost is also native to Workday and focuses exclusively on Workday customers. In addition, Workday is an investor in the company and Utmost co-founder and COO Dan Beck himself comes from Workday.

That relationship was one thing that caught judges’ attention.

“I like the business, it’s got a built-in customer base,” said Jai Shekhawat, one of the Shark judges. Shekhawat is also founder and former CEO of SAP Fieldglass. However, he did question why Utmost chose its pricing model when enterprise firms are more accustomed to the VMS supplier-paid model.

“I think he has a bright future ahead of him; not easy, but I wish him all the best,” Shekhawat said.

Timing, thoughtfulness and focus were also cited by the other three judges:

  • “Although there was something timely in everything we saw today, Utmost, in particular, I think is really timely to what enterprise customers, HR executives, hiring managers are trying to solve right now,” said Rebecca Henderson, CEO and executive board member at Randstad nv.
  • “All of the startups were really interesting,” said Pete Flint, managing partner of NFX, a venture capital firm. “Utmost stood out, just their thoughtfulness, their experience, their distribution; I think that really stood out. This is a terrific opportunity; it’s a burning need for many enterprises.”
  • “The criteria of innovation, market opportunity and the quality of the presentations made it really tough because some may be more innovative than others and some might have a bigger market opportunity,” said Gary Swart, partner at Polaris Partners, an investment firm. “I think Dan’s focus was a differentiator. The fact that there is not only an innovative solution but a focused go-to-market, not trying to boil the ocean and tackle too much.”

The other finalists presenting to the Shark Tank panel were:

  • Emma El-Karout, founder and CEO of One Circle, a digital community of on-demand HR freelancers.
  • Matthew Mottola, co-founder and CEO of Venture L. The company is described as a Shopify for running freelance businesses that enables freelancers to scale their operations.
  • Alexander Torrenegra, CEO of Torre, a professional network that is friendly for both knowledge workers and blue-collar workers that uses programmatic automatic matching for jobs.

The Collaboration in the Gig Economy Conference ends today.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Gigger.news.