Skip the Dishes: Poster Child for Precarious Work
In March of this year, Winnipeg-based food delivery company SkipTheDishes came under fire for cancelling the second interview of a prospective employee after she asked about wages and benefits. “If I do end up filling this position,” wrote Taylor Byrnes in an email to the startup’s talent-acquisition co-ordinator, “how much do you think I’ll be getting paid an hour?
The rise of the “on-demand” economy – once described by Republican Senator Marco Rubio as “a miracle that only American free enterprise could produce” – fortifies the perception (and reality) that there is no future for the next generation beyond ultra-precarious, contingent forms of work; a brave new, app-powered world where big data drives de-skilling and where exploitation is unassailable.
This company epitomizes everything that is wrong with the sharing economy…Couriers pay for out of pocket cash orders and are not compensated for gas costs, vehicle depreciation costs, maintenance and repair costs, parking fees, commercial insurance costs, travel time to restaurant, waiting costs and idle time between jobs….According to some estimates, nearly 40% of all U.S. workers will be classed as “independent” by 2020; anchored to non-standard, insecure or contingent jobs.