Serfing the Web: On-Demand Workers Deserve a Place at the Table
Workers’ voices are being excluded from discussions on the future of the “sharing economy.”
What if they held an event on the future of labor, and no workers were invited? That’s something you’d expect at a conference of CEOs or venture capitalists. But when the government hosts a meeting on firms like Uber, TaskRabbit, and Postmates, and neglects to find workers—or even labor advocates—to speak, that’s shocking.
Sure, the new platforms bring new efficiencies to consumers. But the on-demand workforce—the ones fueling this economy with their bodies, possessions, and time—needs to speak about the dark side of being bossed around by unaccountable apps. There’s no lack of organized resistance to arbitrary, brutal platform labor conditions. Organizations like the Freelancers Union, the NYC Taxi Alliance, TurkerNation, or the Domestic Workers Alliance, have spoken up for labor for years.