Gig economy, Gag jobs

Below: unsurprising coverage how ‘Gig economy’ aggregators (businesses that consolidate & resell the ‘product’) gain equity & leverage power, yet show little empathy or consideration for their relatively powerless front line workers.

One might claim “No one forces these drivers to work for” a power-wielding employer (this firm is notorious for arguing they’re not an ’employer’, ergo not subject to employment laws or standards). That “No one forces them to…” phrase, typically uttered by society’s Well-Born, should be removed from vocabularies. They are forced to take these jobs. Some to pay the bills; some to realize their potential (eg youths raised with little wealth who aspire to a post-secondary education, must not only win every high school scholarship, they also take multiple simultaneous part time jobs- they aren’t forced to take minimum wage jobs; those roles are just the only ones available).

Apologies for waxing philosophical, but Gig Economy Worker Rights is a looming #ethics issue, like Data Privacy & compensating Local News providers (yes, I’m aware of the irony of linking to this article). The issue begs for government or inter-government action, but who will tackle it? Gig Economy behemoths work the ‘hazy spaces between‘ existing regulations, beyond national governments’ usual zones of control, squirming between laws, past traditional definitions of jurisdiction. A certain accommodation-sharing aggregator app plays like a hotel, but not one that follows hotel rules for zoning, hygiene, worker rights, etc. A taxi service aggregator app plays like a taxi service, but not one that follows taxi rules for driving training or vetting, vehicle safety, worker rights. One must respect the dark genius of the Gig business model! All upside and control- no accountability or cost!

Behold Ozymandias! As in the intimidating battle looming for Nations/Citizens vs Social Media giants on Data Privacy or Local News, you can expect Canada will not play a role putting the Beast At Bay. It’ll be the European Union, or Australia, or another nation that values its workers & citizens, more than it values ‘not rocking the boat’.

Sleep on.


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