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US News Regulators around the world are coming for the gig economy

14:15  28 february  2020
14:15  28 february  2020 Source:   qz.com

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The gig economy is great news for businesses. They’re able to hire the contractors from all over the world who are able to best meet their needs without geography being an issue, and they can do so without worrying about training costs; in almost all cases, these workers are coming with specialized

A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic Experts expect this working number to rise. In the modern digital world , it's becoming increasingly

a person riding a bicycle on a city street: A Foodora delivery cyclist poses on a street in Berlin © Provided by Quartz A Foodora delivery cyclist poses on a street in Berlin

California’s landmark Assembly Bill 5, which makes it harder for workers to be classified as independent contractors rather than employees, has started to make waves across the state. This past week, a county judge in San Diego noted “the handwriting is on the wall” and ordered the grocery-delivery service Instacart to reclassify 2,000 local workers as employees.

Far from California, there are other recent signals that the vise is tightening for gig-economy companies.

This week, Foodora delivery drivers became the first app-based workforce to unionize in Canada. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled Tuesday that Foodora food couriers are dependent contractors, a classification that falls between independent contractors and employees—and gives them the ability to unionize, according to labor officials. “This decision shows that the tide is turning towards justice for thousands of gig workers in Ontario and soon these workers will have the right to their union,” Jan Simpson, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said in a statement.

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“ The gig economy is normalising labour conditions it took generations of political struggle to stamp out in this Daily grind. In the 20th century the standard type of worker in the rich world was a full-time Gig - economy firms portray themselves as intermediaries in the two-sided market of workers and jobs

The new working model offers greater freedom – and a fresh chance for the rich to exploit the poor.

Foodora is based in Berlin and operates in 15 countries. The labor board ruling in Canada comes after Foodora workers in Norway—who are largely part-time employees—formed their first union after a six-week strike in September. The 600 employees involved were demanding higher pay as well as guaranteed compensation for workers’ use of bikes, uniforms, and smartphones.

In Japan, where 3 million workers are estimated to be working as freelancers, UberEats workers unionized last October, with the chairman of the union calling for “safer and more stable working conditions for all platform workers.” Uber said it would locally introduce an injury-compensation program, cover insurance fees, and pay up to 10 million yen ($93,000) in case of death.

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Stories of the misery of the American gig economy abound. What’s interesting is that now, we have so many people getting online at the moment and most of that growth in access is coming from the developing That’s obviously a difficult task that relies on regulators from all over the world asking

The gig economy brings flexibility and improved efficiency to multiple markets. But it also hinders the ability Private regulators , for-profit or not, build regulatory systems and secure government approval by demonstrating As globalisation and the world trade order come under unprecedented attack

Gallery: How many people are their own boss in the world’s richest nations? (Lovemoney)

a man in a forest: Being your own boss is the dream of many people and, with the rise of the so-called 'gig economy', it's not only a dream but for many a long-term legitimate form of employment. However, the number of self-employed workers and the industries they work in varies considerably in the world's richest nations, according to the most recent figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO). Click through to see which countries have the most and least people who work for themselves.

The recent uprising of app-based workers has been brewing for the past couple of years, says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she researches unions in the global economy. She says workers tend to mobilize in areas where legislation is more progressive or where there’s already high union density, often with higher percentages of workers of color.

“AB5 happened because there was all this activity out there,” Bronfenbrenner says. “And so many times, unions think, ‘If we just wait for labor law, we have to wait for labor law reform before we can organize,'” she says.

But they don’t necessarily have to wait. The Foodora workers in Ontario, for example, held a union vote last August. (The results were sealed pending the labor relations board ruling and have not yet been disclosed.)

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The Gig Economy represents a fundamental shift in employment around the world . For employers, the bottom line is driving this new world order. “In many ways, it's easier for the workforce to transition from full-time work to independent work, because they can access those benefits much

Since the term “ gig economy ” was popularized around the height of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, task-based labour has evolved and has become a significant factor in the overall economy . The concept of creating an income from short-term tasks has been around for a long time.

Meanwhile, back in California…

AB5 is heralded as a big win for California workers by labor advocates, as it could push on-demand companies to provide benefits like a minimum wage and workers’ compensation. But that would be costly to the companies, many of which are still losing money.

Uber, Lyft, and Doordash have pledged $90 million for a ballot initiative this coming November to win an exemption from the legislation. Their alternative, the companies say, would preserve worker flexibility while forcing concessions on minimum wage standards, health benefits, and collective-bargaining rights.

While the ballot fight plays out, California courts are taking their cues from the legislature that passed AB5, from the governor who signed it, and from the state supreme court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, which set precedent for how employers should determine whether workers are really contractors or full-time employees.

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“The policy of California is unapologetically pro-employee (in the several senses of that word),” San Diego Superior Court judge Timothy Taylor wrote in his ruling in the Instacart case. “While there is room for debate on the wisdom of this policy, and while other states have chosen another course, it is noteworthy that all three branches of California have now spoken on this issue.”

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Instacart has long faced questions about its labor model. Last year, the company was found cutting into workers’ wages by using customer tips to subsidize the fees paid to drivers. It was a tipping structure used also by DoorDash and Amazon until widespread criticism pressured the companies to modify how they handled tips. In a February blog post on Medium, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said the company will revamp its pay structure.

Uber, meanwhile, has been making changes to its app that underscore the view that its drivers are contractors and not employees. For instance, in California, a “marketplace fee” charged to riders is not shown to drivers, suggesting a separation between drivers and the relationship between Uber and its customers. (In other states, the fee is visible on drivers’ receipts.)

Over the years, Uber has shown a willingness to engage in regulatory battles—but it isn’t always successful. For example, its drivers have already been recognized as employees by UK and French courts.

In pictures: Top photos from around the world this week (The Atlantic)

a man flying through the air on a snow covered mountain: Douglas Ciampi of Westminster, Massachusetts, stands next to a rime ice-covered antenna while taking in the view from the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, on February 23, 2020. Rime ice forms when supercooled moisture hits a solid surface. Ciampi's 5-hour hike was rewarded by exceptionally clear conditions allowing for a visibility of 100 miles from the northeast's highest peak.

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