The ‘Gig Economy’ is the child of the Neo-Liberal collapse of 2008, rooted in the greed of unscrupulous ‘Entrepreneurs’: who thought they could, at will, subvert laws governing the carriage of passengers for money,with the dull-witted notion of ‘ride-hailing service’, as somehow different than a Taxi Service ! The very notion of law, as the exercise of pro bono publico, is antithetical to the Neo-Liberal dogmatists, and their allies, the a fore mentioned ‘Entrepreneurs’.
A close friend of mine had a daughter who was identified as an ‘independent contractor’ by her Temp Agency , yet when it came to the IRS they ruled that she was an employee.
This whole issue is about money, and the ability of ‘Entrepreneurs’ to exploit the desperation of workers, to earn some kind of living, in the watershed of 2008! And The Financial Times ‘coverage’ of the issue is, as always, with the Plutocrats, identified by the shopworn Neo-Liberal Hero the rapacious Entrepreneur ! Some selective quotation from this ‘news story’ is revelatory:
Classifying workers as contractors has kept labour costs down for Uber and Lyft, but the practice has drawn legal claims from workers who want better terms and invited scrutiny from regulators around the world. Both companies listed a change in driver classification as risks in their registration documents ahead of their recent initial public offerings.
“It’s also no secret that a change to the employment classification of ride-share drivers would pose a risk to our businesses,” the companies wrote in Wednesday’s opinion piece.
“Any widescale reclassification of drivers to employees would be a material negative for ride-hailing and further put into question the long term profitability of the industry,” they wrote in a note to clients this week.
Daniel Ives, equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, said he had been fielding questions from investors about the risks of the proposed California law.
“The biggest risk to the Uber story is the contractor to employee issue . . . It’s gone from background noise to a real issue which is why they need to step up publicly” with the joint proposal, he said. “California is a precedent setter and other states may follow. It could have a ripple effect.”
The challenge to the Gig Economy, and its panicking practitioners ,based on the mythical model of independent contractors, will come from a revitalized Union Movement: that will spend a generation organizing for these workers, or they will become utterly irrelevant.