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The Gig Economy Project is a media network for gig workers in Europe, seeking to promote efforts to transform work in the digital age.

BRAVE NEW EUROPE has always considered the Gig Economy one of the most important and contentious economic developments of our time. Bike couriers, ‘micro-taskers’, home care workers, and many more who work on-demand in the digital platform economy and have few job protections are at the sharpest edge of capitalist exploitation, but are also providing some of the most creative and powerful forms of resistance in the working class today.

Ben Wray is leading this project for BRAVE NEW EUROPE, enabling us to provide analysis and reporting from all across Europe on the Gig Economy. We are keen to find out about and report on these struggles – if you know of or are involved in one in Europe, please get in touch. We are also publishing content from researchers, campaigners, and others who have an interesting perspective to offer on Gig workers in Europe.

The articles below is an archive of all our published content, starting with the most recent.

You can listen to all of our podcasts here.

To receive our weekly newsletter in your inbox, with all the latest news, analysis, opinion and events in the gig economy in Europe, leave your e-mail here (newsletter archive also in same link).

Follow our Twitter account for all the latest updates.

if you would like to get in touch you can do so by contacting Ben Wray at

A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy: All 11 episodes & transcript

A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy is a series of podcasts by journalist Ben Wray and researcher Marini Thorne which gets behind the tech jargon and the CEO propaganda to examine the reality of work in the gig economy and look at how gig workers can challenge the power of their algorithmic bosses.

All 11 episodes of the series in the above link, as is a full transcript of the episodes.

How do gig workers take control of their data?

In Episode 11 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini look at how gig workers really could be their own bosses, by taking collective control of their data. They find that their a number of potential models, but what they all have in common is a democratisation of work.

Why should gig workers join a union?

In Episode 10 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini look at the potential power gig workers have if they join together in a union. They find that despite several difficulties, there are already many inspiring examples of gig workers striking and winning.

Why do gig platforms struggle to turn a profit?

In Episode 9 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini explain the apparent paradox of the big digital platforms being powerful globally but struggling to be profitable. They find that the core problem is that, despite being hailed as ‘innovative’, these platforms have not transformed the economic fundamentals of the industry sectors they operate within, which have traditionally been low-margin.

What makes platforms powerful?

In Episode 8 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini explain why big digital labour platforms like Uber have been able to accumulate so much power so quickly. They find that technology is only a small part of the answer.

Is the gig economy good for migrants and ethnic minorities?

In Episode 7 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini question the notion that the gig economy is a labour market boon for migrants and ethnic minorities. While the low barriers to entry mean many marginalised workers can access gig work easier than standard jobs, the low pay and precarity of the gig economy keeps these workers on the margins.

Is the gig economy really a “godsend” for women?

In Episode 6 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini challenge the idea that the gig economy offers freedom for women from macho office environments and rigid work schedules. They find that the gig economy re-produces many of the same problems for women as standard jobs, and in some cases even reinforces the sexist ‘double-burden’ of waged labour and domestic unpaid labour.

Rasmus Emil Hjorth – A gig worker’s view on the ILO conference 2024

Rasmus Emil Hjorth, a food delivery courier in Copenhagen and trade union activist in the Madbudenes Organisation, writes about his experience at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference 2024, which finished on Friday [14 June]. Hjorth finds that while platform work was on the agenda, the attempt to find a compromise to suit bosses and workers left him unimpressed.

Is gig work really ‘flexible’?

In Episode 5 of a Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini challenge the widely espoused notion that working in the gig economy offers workers ‘flexibility’. They find that to have true flexibility in your life requires social protections and economic security, neither of which are on offer in the gig economy.

Are gig workers their ‘own boss’?

In Episode 4 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini take down the myth that food delivery couriers and drivers working on a digital labour platform are their ‘own boss’. They find that employment misclassification is a means for platforms to avoid their responsibilities to their workers.

What is the algorithm?

In Episode 3 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini uncover the secrets of ‘the algorithm’; the method by which management instructions are delivered via an app. They find that algorithms accentuate the power imbalance between bosses and workers, especially when the rules which govern them remain a ‘black box’ for workers.

Why are gig workers paid per task?

In Episode 2 of A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy, Ben and Marini look at the payment model in the gig economy, where workers are not paid for their whole time at work but only the time it takes to complete a task. They find that pay-per-task, which used to be known as ‘piece wages’, is a lever for lengthening the working day and lowering wages.

A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy – Ep 1: What is the Gig Economy?

A Rebel’s Guide to the Gig Economy is a series of podcasts by journalist Ben Wray and researcher Marini Thorne which gets behind the tech jargon and the CEO propaganda to examine the reality of work in the gig economy and look at how gig workers can challenge the power of their algorithmic bosses.

In this first episode, Ben and Marini explain the thinking behind the series and answer the question: what actually is the gig economy?

Podcast – The rise and fall of grocery delivery in Europe

Billions of venture capital funding was ploughed into Europe’s grocery delivery sector just three years ago. Now, there’s almost nothing left to show for it. What went wrong?

Ben Wray, Maradia Tsaava – Gig work in Georgia: “Another hell”

Gig work in Georgia is precarious and strikes are regular, just like in the Western world. The crucial difference is that the gig economy is by no means on the lowest rung of the Georgian labour market.

As the Platform Work Directive passes, is Just Eat turning its back on employing its riders?

A dispute over job cuts in Paris has turned into an international movement of Just Eat riders, who accuse the company’s CEO of saying one thing in public and doing another in practice.

Big majority in European Parliament for Platform Work Directive agreement

Eighty-seven per cent of MEPs back the platform work regulation, despite years of wrangling over the law.

Statement on the step forward for platform workers on March 11, 2024

A statement by participant organisations in the platform workers’ movement in response to the EU Platform Work Directive agreement on 11 March. If your group would like to support this statement, send an e-mail with the organisation, website/social media and country to

Podcast: Will the Platform Work Directive work?

The Gig Economy Project speaks to gig economy experts Antonio Aloisi, Tim Christiaens and Jessica Pidoux about the EU’s new regulation of platform work.

EU set to pass Platform Work Directive after last minute U-turns

Platform Work Directive four-year legislative saga finally over after Estonia and Greece u-turns, leaving France and Germany isolated.

Podcast – The Brussels Appeal: Building the platform workers’ movement

The Gig Economy Project speaks to three food delivery activists and organisers from Austria, Spain and Belgium about the working conditions of riders, resistance to the platforms and the barriers to political solutions.

The Brussels Appeal: Proposal from the Forum on Alternatives to Uberisation, 21-22 February 2024

Following the fourth Transnational Alternatives to Uberisation forum, which took place 21-22 February 2024, some of the participant organisations of the platform workers’ movement have prepared the following statement – The Brussels Appeal – to take forward the movement from here. The Gig Economy Project is publishing this statement so all gig workers’ and their organisations can access it and consider giving it their support.

Social Democratic MEP calls out German Chancellor over Platform Work Directive: ‘Which side are you on?’

Debate in the European Parliament comes as hope is revived that a platform work regulation deal could be struck before the end of the parliamentary term.

Dead end: Platform Work Directive blocked by Germany, France, Estonia and Greece

EU member-states fail to pass platform work regulation, in what was billed as the last opportunity to do so before the end of the parliamentary term.

UK Valentine’s Day strike: Interview with Rafael, rider and strike organiser

A Valentine’s Day strike across the UK looks set to shutdown the operations of food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo for the second time in two weeks. The Gig Economy Project spoke to one of the strike leaders about what motivated him and how the strike has been organised.

‘A middle finger to the apps’: UK sees historic riders’ strike

Powerful grassroots-organised strike saw customers complaining they couldn’t access the app and Deliveroo’s ‘dark kitchens’ shutdown.

Portugal: from Uber’s test tube to a leader in platform workers’ rights?

Portugal’s labour code reform could deliver much needed workers’ rights to the country’s gig economy, but legal and political uncertainty remains.

Permanently on the fence: Germany criticised for abstaining on EU platform work regulation for 2 years

The continual abstention of the EU’s largest country is proving decisive in shaping the delicate balance of power among member-states over gig work regulation.

Lola Brittain: Own This! How Platform Co-operatives Help Workers Build a Democratic Internet – review

Can platform co-operatives offer an alternative to platform capitalism?

‘Macron is poisoning an entire continent’: EU member-states refuse to support Platform Work Directive deal

The deal negotiated between the Spanish Presidency of the EU and European Parliament interlocutors was rejected by 12 states led by France, while Germany abstained.

Piero Valmassoi – Riders’ accidents in Belgium: more exposed, less covered

An in-depth analysis of food delivery accidents and accident insurance in Belgium.

Workers, algorithms & the EU: Interview with Aída Ponce Del Castillo

Podcast: What does the AI Act and the algorithmic management section of the Platform Work Directive mean for AI in the workplace?

Provisional agreement struck on Platform Work Directive

Deal on key issue of the presumption of employment for platform workers gives member-states leeway to add more ‘indicators’. Agreement still needs to get a two-thirds majority among member-states, which could be tricky.

In Copenhagen, riders are campaigning for international students to have an equal right-to-work

With tuition fees reaching over €10,000 per year in one of the most expensive cities in Europe, riders who are non-EEA international students say they need to work more than the permitted 20 hours a week.

The national riders’ strike in France is bad news for Uber Eats and for Emmanuel Macron: Interview with CGT’s Ludo Rioux

A national strike in France against Uber Eats’ new payment system on December 2-3 could be the largest in Europe yet, and exposes Emmanuel Macron’s ‘social dialogue’ system for the gig economy.

UK Supreme Court finds Deliveroo riders have no rights to collective bargaining because they aren’t workers

The IWGB union say they are considering their options “under international law” after “disappointing” defeat.

The voices of ‘The Great Delivery’, in their own words

Piero Valmassoi, journalist and platform transport policy expert, asked the participants and supporters The Great Delivery, which finished on Friday, about their experience of the unique 400 kilometre protest, and their hopes and ambitions for improving the conditions of platform workers in Europe.

‘La Grande Livraison (The Great Delivery)’ by European riders is delivering hope – Statement from Korean platform workers

The Alliance for Korean Platform Workers for a better tomorrow has issued a statement in solidarity with European riders participating in ‘The Great Delivery’, a 400 kilometre journey from Paris to Brussels to demand platform workers’ rights.

‘The Great Delivery’: Riders to cycle from Paris to Brussels to demand platform workers’ rights

The 400 kilometre ‘Great Delivery’ from Paris to Brussels starts this Sunday [5 November]. Piero Valmassoi, freelance journalist and platform economy expert, spoke to Camille Peteers, rider and spokesperson for the Brussels Couriers’ Collective (Collectif des Coursiers Bruxelles), to find out what it’s all about.

Why Uber drivers in the App Drivers & Couriers Union logged-off for Gaza

The Gig Economy Project speaks Abdurzaq Hadi, Uber driver and BAME officer for the ADCU, about why the union is among the leading voices of the British trade union movement opposing Israel’s siege of Gaza.

‘Suppressing democracy’: Flink closes in Freiburg on eve of Works Council election

German Q-Commerce platform Flink claims it has shutdown its operations in Freiburg for “purely” economic reasons, but its sacked workers disagree.

Deliverance Milano: The “union-on-demand” for riders

As riders’ strike in Milan this week, Gig Economy Project co-ordinator Ben Wray finds that Deliverance Milano, a grassroots collective launched eight years ago, remains in the thick of the struggle.

Carlos Rodríguez – Why we fight together for the taxi and the rider

Carlos Rodríguez, vice-president of Taxi Project 2.0, a think tank in favour of the taxi sector in Spain and against Uberisation, writes for the Gig Economy Project about his battles at regional, national and European level, and why fighting alongside riders remains a top priority.

Carlos Rodríguez: Por qué luchamos juntos por el taxi y el rider

Carlos Rodríguez, vicepresidente del Taxi Project 2.0, grupo de reflexión a favor del sector del taxi en España y en contra de la Uberización, escribe para el Gig Economy Project sobre sus batallas a nivel regional, nacional y europeo, y por qué luchar junto a los riders sigue siendo una prioridad absoluta.

Los riders sin papeles: Migrants tell their story from undocumented food delivery couriers to trade union organisers

How do undocumented workers make a living in the food delivery sector? How can trade unions recruit migrant gig workers and ensure decent working conditions for all riders? The Gig Economy Project spoke to Paola and Frank, Venezuelan migrants who have worked for food delivery platforms in Spain without work permits and are now union activists, at a trade union conference on the platform economy in Madrid to find out.

Spain: “Pioneering” criminal complaint for fake-self employment could lead to jail time for Glovo bosses

Legal complaint comes after the government changed the Penal Code last year to make false-self employment a criminal offence.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, platform work is taking-off but remains unregulated

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Amela Kurta and Ilma Kurtović, two of the authors’ of the first study of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s platform economy, about the emergence of gig work in the post-Soviet, post-war Balkans’ country.

Podcast – Marx, piece wages and the gig economy: Interview w/ Matt Cole

What relevance does Marx’s writings have to understanding the wage system in the gig economy today? The Gig Economy Project speaks to Dr Matt Cole to find out.

Lucas García Alcalde: There are lessons to learn from Getir’s Spanish exit

For the past two years, Lucas García Alcalde has been reporting on Spain’s grocery delivery sector for ‘Business Insider’. Following Getir’s exit from Spain in July just two years after its entry, Alcalde writes for the Gig Economy Project about the company’s short but eventful time in the Southern European country, and what lessons might be learnt for workers, industry and government. 

Lucas García Alcalde: Hay lecciones que aprender de la salida de Getir de España

Durante los últimos dos años, Lucas García Alcalde ha estado informando sobre el sector español de envíos ultrarrápidos para ‘Business Insider’. Tras la salida de Getir de España en julio, justo dos años después de su entrada, Alcalde escribe para Gig Economy Project sobre el breve pero accidentado paso de la empresa por el país del sur de Europa, y sobre las lecciones que pueden extraerse para los trabajadores, la industria y el Gobierno.

As Getir’s empire rapidly shrinks, workers plot a global strike

The Turkish grocery delivery platform’s problems are generating steep lay-offs and deteriorating working conditions for those who remain, pushing workers to get organised internationally.

Has Austria’s collective bargaining system tamed the food delivery platforms? Interview with Robert Walasinski

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Robert Walasinski about whether the emergence of the food delivery sector in Austria has disrupted the country’s traditional system of collective bargaining. Interview available as a podcast or in text form.

Damning French Uber Files inquiry finds Uber still has “extremely privileged links” to the state

Report finds that there was a secret “deal” between Uber and Emmanuel Macron in 2015.

The urban dimension in food delivery struggle: The story of the Riders Union Bologna

This interview with Maurilio Pirone is available as a podcast or in written text form.

Accessing the algorithm to build union power: The case of Palermo

Interview with Fabio Pace of the NIdiL CGIL union in Palermo, which has used legal action to reveal the secrets of algorithmic management and strengthen the power of food delivery couriers.

ILO economist: ‘Platforms are not delivering the women’s empowerment they promised’

The World Bank and the World Economic Forum have promoted ‘digital entrepreneurship’ as the answer to increase female employment and tackle gender inequality, but digital labour platforms are re-producing the same problems as traditional labour markets, researchers have found.

Ridehail bosses call for EU action after Spain declares taxis a ‘public service’

Law comes on the eve of Spain’s General Election in response to the Court of Justice of the EU ruling earlier this month.

The food delivery couriers who worked for three months and never got paid

The Gig Economy Project speaks to a Wolt rider in Berlin, who was hired via a sub-contractor and was never paid. He and his colleagues are taking the food delivery platform to court.

EU member-states agree Platform Work Directive position

Both the platform lobby and pro-employment rights’ MEP Leïla Chaibi reacted critically to the Council’s Platform Work Directive position.

Open letter from French unions and worker collectives to EU labour ministers on the ‘French model’ and the Platform Work Directive

Labour ministers of EU member-states are set to finalise their position on the Platform Work Directive, with reports that France – the state must opposed to strong employment rights in the Directive – now holds the key to the final text. Five unions and worker collectives representing platform workers in France have written to the labour ministers urging them to reject France’s ‘social dialogue’ model for the gig economy. We re-publish the open letter in English (original in French).

Co-op Cycle – Uberisation and presumption of employment: the government challenges its own coherence

Co-op Cycle is a federation of bike delivery co-operatives with 60 affiliated co-op’s in Europe. In this open letter, they criticise the French Government’s approach towards Uberisation and argue for strong employment rights for platform workers across Europe.

Co-op Cycle – Ubérisation et présomption de salariat : le gouvernement au défi de sa propre cohérence

Co-op Cycle est une fédération de coopératives de livraison à vélo qui compte 60 coopératives affiliées en Europe. Dans cette lettre ouverte, elles critiquent l’approche du gouvernement français à l’égard de l’Uberisation et plaident en faveur de droits de l’emploi solides pour les travailleurs des plateformes à travers l’Europe.

Is Belgium’s platform work law a “dead letter”?

Belgium introduced a platform work law on 1 January that has so far not changed anything. Gig Economy Project co-ordinator Ben Wray visited Brussels to find out what the problem is, and what lessons there are to learn for the EU Platform Work Directive.

Open letter – EU labour ministers: Will you work for us or for Uber?

Trade unions and platform worker collectives across Europe have signed the following open letter addressed to ministers of labour of the EU member-states, calling for them to support a Platform Work Directive on the Council of the EU which ensures platform workers’ rights are protected.

Pedro Mendonça, Ian Clark, Nadia Kougiannou – ‘I’m always delivering food while hungry’: how undocumented migrants find work as substitute couriers in the UK

A deep insight into the harsh reality of being an undocumented migrant worker in the gig economy.

Ben Wray – May Day: Labour and Platform Capital in Europe

For International Workers Day, Gig Economy Project co-ordinator Ben Wray finds that digital labour platforms are responding to the inflation crisis by finding new algorithmic means to ratchet up the rate of exploitation, but platform workers are responding by forging new forms of resistance.

Benedikt Hopmann: Germany’s restrictions on the right to strike have their roots in the Nazi-era

‘The alligators’: How Croatia legitimised the role of sub-contractors in the platform economy – Interview w/ Sunčica Brnardić

Anna-Elisabeth Hampel, Eva Luise Krause: What our research reveals about platform work, and how it should be regulated

The ‘Equal opportunities in platform work’ (‘Chancengerechte Plattformarbeit’) project released two studies in February and March on the relationship between platform work and social exclusion/participation. The authors write for the Gig Economy Project summarising their findings, and what the next steps are for the project.

#ReWolt: Why are Wolt strikes spreading across Europe?

Strikes at Wolt have taken place in at least eight European countries since the start of the year, with four occurring in the past week. Why are the riders taking action now? The Gig Economy Project takes a look.

Christopher Leach – Worker resistance and the gig economy: lessons from the Sheffield courier strike

For eight months, platform workers in Sheffield organised the longest strike in the history of the gig economy. History and Politics student Christopher Leach spoke to striking platform workers as part of a Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) project.

Organising from the bottom-up: Inside Brussels’ House of Couriers

The House of Couriers opened in December to aid rider-organising in the Belgian capital. The Gig Economy Project went to the House of Couriers to speak to two of its main organisers to find out more.

Spanish study finds Uber, Bolt and Cabify charge customers more in poor neighbourhoods than rich ones

First-of-its-kind study also claims that private hire platforms in Spain indirectly price fix and break labour laws.

Flink: As bad as Gorillas?

Two Flink couriers and Works Council founders have been fired, ostensibly for speaking publicly about poor working conditions. Is Flink any better than the scandal-ridden and now-defunct Gorillas? And does German labour law really protect workers who are in conflict with their bosses?

Víctor Riesgo Gómez – Strategies of resistance and trade union action in platform work: The case of Uber in Spain

How does the private hire platform market operate in Spain? And what role are trade unions playing in seeking to represent drivers? Víctor Riesgo Gómez, a sociologist and predoctoral contract researcher at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), summarises the findings of his recent research paper on this topic. 

Víctor Riesgo Gómez – Estrategias de resistencia y acción sindical en el trabajo de plataforma: El caso de Uber en España

¿Cómo funciona el mercado de las plataformas de transporte privado en España? ¿Qué papel juegan los sindicatos en la representación de los conductores? Víctor Riesgo Gómez, sociólogo e investigador predoctoral contratado en la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), resume las conclusiones de su reciente trabajo de investigación sobre este tema.

Gendered digital labour: Interview with Al James

On International Women’s Day, the Gig Economy Project speaks to Professor Al James about his research on the experience of female workers in the online gig economy. Interview available as a podcast and in text form.

Hubert Horan: Can Uber ever deliver?

Uber expert Hubert Horan separates fact from fiction in the company’s latest company accounts.

Berlin: A new solidarity fund will combat “wage theft” in labour disputes

The PayDay e.V. fund in Berlin has been established to counter the threat of wage theft as a tool for union-busting.

Miriam Oliver, Georgia Nelson – The women behind ChatGPT: is clickwork a step forwards or backwards for gender equality?

The success of ChatGPT has led many to herald ‘the age of AI’. But behind artificial intelligence like ChatGPT is clickworkers in the global South who are disproportionately female. Writing for the Gig Economy Project, Miriam Oliver and George Nelson examine whether clickwork is liberating women or consigning them to a life of double-exploitation in the home.

Is ‘dynamic pricing’ ripping-off gig workers?

What is dynamic pricing? And why is it “dangerous” for gig workers? On the day of co-ordinated protests of Uber drivers in London and Amsterdam for fair pay, the Gig Economy Project takes a look.

“We managed to reverse the balance of power”: Interview with Leïla Chaibi MEP

Piero Valmassoi, EU policy expert and activist at the Maison des Livreurs (House of Couriers) in Brussels, speaks to Leïla Chaibi MEP after the vote of the European Parliament on the Platform Work Directive [2 February]. They discuss the lobbying efforts of the big platforms, the substance of the European Parliament’s mandate, and what happens now.

Defeat for the platform lobby: European Parliament backs stronger Platform Work Directive

European Parliament now must negotiate its mandate with the Council of the EU, which has yet to agree its position.

Piero Valmassoi: Uber and EU lobbying: is there a way to keep the baby and throw out the bathwater?

Piero Valmassoi, a policy expert specialised in the platform economy and sustainable urban mobility, reports for the Gig Economy Project on the debate of the European Parliament on Uber lobbying practices on Wednesday [18 January], finding that it will be challenging to rebalance the access that big business enjoys at the highest levels of European policymaking.

‘Game over Uber’: Stockholm Uber and Bolt drivers in first-ever strike

Greta Thunberg joined the strike protest in central Stockholm demanding improvements to pay and union representation.

Algorithms, Work and the European Directive – Interview with James Farrar and Sergi Cutillas

Interview with the authors of new report “Workers’ Recommendations on the draft EU Platform Work Directive” in podcast and text form.

In freezing cold and icy London, riders keep working despite the risks

Gig Economy Project co-ordinator Ben Wray reports from London where freezing temperatures, snow and ice have made being a food delivery courier an even more dangerous job.

James Farrar, Sergi Cutillas – Workers’ Recommendations on the Draft EU Platform Work Directive

Report calls on MEPs to fast-track approval of the proposed EU Platform Work Directive in upcoming vote and for additional curbs on algorithmic abuses in the gig economy.

Czech Republic tried to include collective agreements as substitute for legal provisions in EU Platform Work Directive

Union leaders and campaigners for gig workers’ rights say attempt to introduce collective agreements as a substitute for legal provisions in the EU Directive demonstrates how bad agreements can be used by platforms to undermine workers’ rights.

Anne Dufresne: Uber’s social dialogue deal with the UBT-FGTB union in Belgium

Data power in the gig economy: Interview with data expert Jessica Pidoux

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Jessica Pidoux, director of PersonalData.IO, about her critique of data in the platform economy and how gig workers can use data tools to build workers’ power (in podcast and text form).

Uber, drivers and data: Can workers build data power?

Can workers access their data and use it to build their power? The Gig Economy Project looks at a fascinating case study from Geneva, Switzerland, to find out.

Wolt: Trade union activist has account terminated for “taking every opportunity to criticise”

Copenhagen food delivery courier Rasmus Emil Hjorth claims his account was terminated at Wolt for trade union organising.

Anne Dufresne, Bruno Bauraind – The new “taxi plan” in Brussels: Towards an Uberisation of the sector?

Anne Dufresne and Bruno Bauraind, researchers at GRESEA, find that the new “Taxi Plan” for Brussels, which came into effect on 21 October and is aimed at resolving continual conflict between Uber and taxis since 2014, will merely intensify the conflict and take it onto an interregional footing, while deepening the Uberisation of both private hire drivers and taxis.

Piero Valmassoi: MacGann’s testimony stung Uber, but will it make any difference?

Piero Valmassoi, a policy expert specialised in the platform economy and sustainable urban mobility, reports from the European Parliament on Uber whistleblower Mark MacGann’s hearing, finding that his revelations will not count for much if the platform lobby continues to win the legislative battle.

Uber whistleblower Mark MacGann’s full statement to the European Parliament

The full statement of ‘Uber Files’ whistleblower Mark MacGann to the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament today [25 October].

The platform lobby in Brussels: 5 things you should know

A new study takes an in-depth look at the platform lobby in Brussels in wake of the Uber Files scandal, finding they are more deeply entrenched than ever.

Wolt couriers wildcat strike in Denmark

Wolt denies claim that it offered a bike cargo full of soda instead of a wage rise when striking riders came to their office in Copenhagen.

“My life is worth more than a sandwich”: Strike in Florence after death of a rider

Unions organise 24-hour strike after death of a Glovo rider in Florence, who was automatically fired by the company almost 24 hours after the fatal accident.

Archie Mellor, Rasmus Emil Hjorth: Why internationalism matters for food delivery organising

Archie Mellor from the IWGB couriers’ branch in the UK and Rasmus Emil Hjorth from the Wolt Workers’ Group in Denmark make the case for food delivery couriers sharing their experiences with one another across borders, after a meeting of British and Danish riders in September to discuss vehicle theft and what to do about it.

Glovo hit with massive €79 million fine for ‘false self-employment’ in Spain

Fine is four times larger than previous sanctions for ‘false self-employment’ breaches by the company, and is unlikely to be the last.

Private hire platform makes claim about Catalan politicians’ passenger data in advert against new regulation

Cabify’s advertising campaign against the Decree Law raises concerns about how platform-controlled data can be a “danger to democracy”, according to Leïla Chaibi MEP.

“I feel abandoned in the jungle”: A Belgian gig economy veteran’s story of struggle

A veteran of the gig economy, Anuar Shabban has worked for multiple platforms in Brussels, including Deliveroo for the past six years. He tells the Gig Economy Project about the trials and tribulations of a precarious work life.

Brussels: Taxis and gig workers say no to “Uberisation” in Europe

Wolt couriers demand FC København lives up to its “social responsibility” claims

Wolt Workers’ Group courier Rasmus Emil Hjorth speaks to the Gig Economy Project about how their campaign has revealed a larger problem with working conditions in football.

Sweden’s election, the Nordic model and the gig economy – interview w/ GigWatch’s Felix Söderberg & Jacob Lundberg

With elections forthcoming, Söderberg and Lundberg explain that the Swedish model of industrial relations is being used as an excuse not to regulate the gig economy in Sweden. Available to read and to listen as a podcast.

Berlin Lieferando couriers Works’ Council election: Notes from a Danish courier 

Rasmus Emil Hjorth, Danish rank-and-file Wolt courier in the Wolt Workers’ Group, reports from Berlin, where he has been helping the Lieferando Workers’ Collective as the couriers elect their first Works’ Council

Uber Eats joins Glovo in abandoning Spain’s Rider’s Law on its 1 year anniversary

Uber Eats move back to a self-employed model puts the credibility of the Rider’s Law at risk.

Why Uber failed and what’s next? Interview with Paris Marx

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Paris Marx, host of the Tech Won’t Save Us podcast and author of new book ‘Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation’, about the Uber Files and why the company’s vision for transforming transport for the greater good has not come to fruition. This interview is available as a podcast and in text form.

As UK Uber drivers strike, union leader calls for Uber whistleblower to answer their questions

As Uber drivers in the ADCU union strike in wake of Uber Files revelations, the General Secretary calls for whistleblower Mark MacGann to answer their questions at a public hearing: “The drivers deserve a first-hand account now”.

Italian taxi wildcat strike ends after Prime Minister offers his resignation

A spontaneous strike of taxi drivers across Italy following the Uber Files revelations has stopped after the Italian Prime Minister offered his resignation, one of the key demands of the drivers who are opposed to a Bill backed by Draghi which could liberalise the sector.

Piero Valmassoi: We should worry about what Uber is doing to influence the EU platform work directive

Piero Valmassoi, an EU policy expert specialised in the platform economy and sustainable urban mobility, takes a look into Uber and the other ridehail and food delivery platforms’ lobbying strategy over the EU platform work directive, finding we should be as worried about Uber’s actions in the present as those in the past

The #UberFiles: Reaction round-up

The Gig Economy Project rounds up some of the key reaction to the Uber Files from unions, politicians, NGOs and others.

The #UberFiles: 5 things you need to know

The Gig Economy Project looks at the key revelations from the Uber Files, a massive leak of of internal documents from the US ridehail giant uncovering the company’s true face

Taxistas beat Uber in battle for Barcelona

Catalan Government’s new law to regulate private hire platforms effectively restricts them to limousines and passenger vans.

‘Life is a game’: Laura Carrer and Luca Quagliato discuss making a film on being a rider in the city

Laura Carrer and Luca Quagliato speak to the Gig Economy Project about their upcoming film on the reality of being a rider in the city (interview available as a podcast and in text form).

UK Uber drivers join train colleagues in striking for higher pay

James Farrar, ADCU General Secretary, tells the Gig Economy Project that Uber has “burned their drivers” by leaving them “exposed to inflation”.

‘Swipe to Finish’: My experience of being a self-employed delivery driver for Amazon

‘Swipe to Finish: How Amazon exploits its drivers to subsidise your deliveries’, by ‘White Van Man’, is a memoir about the experience of being a self-employed delivery driver for Amazon in the UK. In this article exclusively for the Gig Economy Project, ‘White Van Man’ explains the key themes of Swipe to Finish and what inspired him to write the book.

Work and resistance in Germany’s platform economy: Interview with Oğuz Alyanak

What’s distinctive about Germany’s platform economy? How are platform workers in the country organising themselves to fight for better working conditions? The Gig Economy Project spoke to Oğuz Alyanak, Fair Work researcher in Berlin, to find out. Interview available as a podcast and in text.

Inside Berlin’s food delivery workers movement

Ben Wray, the Gig Economy Project’s co-ordinator, recently travelled to Berlin to find out about the vibrant grassroots movement of gig workers in the city, organised via worker collectives. Here’s what he found.

Gorillas in Berlin: Chronic problems and mounting divisions

The Gig Economy Project has spoken to current and former employees at Gorillas, the grocery delivery platform, in Berlin. They tell a story of systemic problems at the company which are causing serious issues for its workers on the frontline and intensifying conflict within the firm.

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito, Vanessa Millán Buitrago: In defence of taxis and public services in Madrid

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito y Vanessa Millán Buitrago: Por la defensa del Taxi y de los servicios públicos de Madrid

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito, responsable de Proyecto Taxi en Madrid, y Vanessa Millán Buitrago, teniente de alcalde, concejala de Transición Ecológica y portavoz de Podemos en Rivas Vaciamadrid, escriben para el ‘Gig Economy Project’ contra la reforma de la ley de transporte de ayer en la Comunidad de Madrid, que favorece a las plataformas de alquiler privado como Uber y Bolt en detrimento del taxi. Expósito y Buitrago dicen que es posible una forma alternativa de gobernar en la capital española.

Piero Valmassoi: European Parliament committee debates Platform Work Directive

Piero Valmassoi, an EU policy expert specialised in the platform economy, gig work and sustainable urban mobility, reports for the Gig Economy Project on The Employment and Social affairs Committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament, which discussed the Directive on Thursday [19 May] with interventions from the European Commission, trade union and platform lobby representatives. 

The legal battle for Uber drivers’ data rights: Interview with lawyer Anton Ekker

Anton Ekker is the lawyer for British Uber and Ola Cab drivers who, via the Worker Info Exchange, are pursuing their data rights at work at an appeal court in Amsterdam on 18 May. Before the trial, Ekker spoke to the Gig Economy Project about the legal fight for workers’ data rights.

Mixed reaction as GMB and Deliveroo sign first union recognition deal for riders in the UK

GMB agreement includes collective bargaining over pay, but IWGB union says the GMB – which has no background in organising food delivery couriers – “prevents no threat” to Deliveroo’s “exploitative business practices”.

European Parliament’s right-wing divided over platform work directive

A private hire platform lobby event in Brussels saw sharp divides within the centre-right EPP Group, and heard fears from platforms over a new attempt to push the Directive further to the left.

Carlos Rodríguez: Una vez más, el taxi es atacado en Madrid

Carlos Rodríguez, administrador de la comunidad de la Asociación Elite Taxi de Barcelona y vicepresidente del ‘Taxi Project 2.0’, dice que la última maniobra de la Comunidad de Madrid para proteger los intereses de las plataformas de VTC será a costa de los ciudadanos y del medio ambiente, así como del taxi, y debe ser detenida.

Carlos Rodríguez: Once again, the taxi is under attack in Madrid

Carlos Rodríguez, community manager at Elite Taxi Association Barcelona and vice-president of the Taxi Project 2.0, says the Community of Madrid’s latest manoeuvre to protect the interests of ridehail platforms will be at the expense of citizens and the environment, as well as the taxi, and must be stopped.

Analysis: is the party over for food and grocery delivery platforms?

The easing of the pandemic combined with the cost of living crisis is testing the sustainability of food and grocery delivery platforms

‘The offence of concealed work’: Suspended prison sentences and maximum fine for Deliveroo France

The first criminal trial of a food delivery platform in France delivered a historic judgement.

Laura Carrer: “A system for the desperate” – How Uber Italy worked with intermediary firms to exploit riders

Journalist Laura Carrer examines a Milan trial of Uber Italy and two intermediary companies which revealed the “double level of exploitation and subjugation” that a hired group of riders were subjected to in the Italian city.

Basque union establishes domestic workers section and seeks first collective agreement

The new domestic workers section of the LAB union in the Basque Country is a first, and the union told the Gig Economy Project that they are “attentive” to the growth of digital labour platforms seeking to ‘Uberise’ the sector

“This strike is about survival”: UK Stuart Delivery couriers revolt reaches 100th day

Stuart Delivery couriers in eight towns and cities in the north of England remain on strike after their pay was slashed in December

“The fuel price is up, the delivery price is down”: Belfast food delivery couriers strike

Belfast couriers from Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat join forces in a Northern Irish first to demand a minimum income guarantee.

As fuel costs surge, gig workers reach “breaking point”

For private hire drivers and food delivery couriers in the gig economy who have to pay for the costs of their own vehicle, surging fuel prices are pushing them to the brink. The Gig Economy Project speaks to a British and a French gig worker respectively to find out just how bad the situation is on-the-ground. 

Riders’ Rights Concern Group: Why Europeans should care about the struggle of FoodPanda couriers in Hong Kong

The Riders’ Rights Concern Group, a labour group dedicated to food delivery workers’ rights in Hong Kong, writes for The Gig Economy Project about the FoodPanda dispute in HK, and what it says about the power imbalances within global platform capitalism.

Uber and FreeNow rated just 1 out of 10 in German Fair Work platform ratings

Gorillas rated 2/10 and Amazon Flex 3/10, while Lieferando and Wolt receive 7/10.

French union and MEP call on parent company La Poste to intervene in Stuart Delivery dispute

CGT: “What the Post Office is trying to do through Stuart Delivery is to impose a new social model on the whole group”

Half of EU platform workers have hourly earnings below the minimum wage, survey finds

Survey finds that there are 12 million platform workers in the EU, 3 million of which do platform work as their main source of income.

Barcelona taxistas in “anti-gag” march against Uber

Elité Taxi faces the potential of a crippling fine from the Catalan Competition Authority, after Uber complained of anti-competitive conduct including “acts of boycott, aggressive and denigrating practices”.

London couriers: Immigration raid “inextricably linked” to lack of safe waiting area

IWGB couriers question mayor of Hackney’s argument that there was no link between an immigration raid targeting couriers in East London and the couriers’ protest for a safe waiting area which took place just two days previously.

‘We are still fighting against Macron, only now at the European level’: Interview with Edouard Bernasse of the Collective of Autonomous Platform Delivery Workers (CLAP)

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Edouard Bernasse of the Collective of Autonomous Platform Delivery Workers (CLAP) about the gig economy in France, Macron’s new platform worker ‘social dialogue’ law and much more.

‘Nous nous battons toujours contre Macron, seulement maintenant au niveau européen’ : Entretien avec Edouard Bernasse du Collectif des Livreurs Autonomes de Plateformes

Le Gig Economy Project s’entretient avec Edouard Bernasse du Collectif des livreurs autonomes de plateformes (CLAP) au sujet de la gig economy en France, de la nouvelle loi de Macron sur le “dialogue social” des travailleurs de plateformes et bien plus encore.

Lora Verheecke: Take care platform workers, France is president of the EU Council

The European Union is elaborating a new law on the status of Uber, Deliveroo and other platform workers. The EU Council position, coordinated by France, is likely to diminish their labour rights and lock them into a self-employed (as opposed to employee) status, argues Lora Verheecke.

Workers on Europe’s big gig platforms meet EU criteria to be employees, trade union analysis finds

ETUC analysis finds food delivery companies Deliveroo and Glovo meet all five of the EU Commission criteria for their workers to be considered employees, but Deliveroo describe the analysis as “incorrect and misleading”.

Podcast: The historic Stuart Delivery strike

The Gig Economy Project speaks to Sheffield Stuart Delivery striker Khalil Lange and IWGB branch secretary Jake Thomas about the longest strike in the history of the UK’s gig economy

Stuart Delivery: Longest ever UK gig economy strike resumes

Pay strike ran for 18 days in December, with pickets re-starting outside McDonald’s restaurants on 10 January.

Just Eat signs “pioneer” labour agreement with Spanish unions

Agreement is the first of its kind in Spain, and includes 30 days of holiday leave, a maximum working day and health & safety protections, but does not extend to Just Eat’s sub-contractors

Longest continuous strike in UK gig economy reaches second week and spreads

Strike is into its ninth day and has spread to Chesterfield and Sunderland.

Worker Info Exchange – Managed by Bots: Data-driven exploitation in the gig economy

Worker Info Exchange was set up in 2019 as a digital rights NGO dedicated to research and advocacy of digital rights for workers and their trade unions.

Reaction to the platform work directive

Reaction from unions, academics, platforms and more to the EU Commission’s platform work directive.

European Commission: Employment status as default for platform workers

Directive, once passed, will be the most significant regulatory change to the platform economy in Europe so far.

Uber fails in “collateral attack” on UK Supreme Court ruling

Uber had sought to undermine a key part of the UK Supreme Court ruling in February, which found that the company’s drivers were workers.

Open letter to EU Commission: Don’t ‘water down’ plans to regulate platform work’

Ministers from Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy apply pressure onto EU Commission a week before the platform work directive legislation is to be announced.

59% of UK riders have no financial support when ill or injured, new study finds

Seventy-six riders participated in a new in-depth study on working conditions in the food delivery sector in the UK.

Carlos Rodríguez: Uber and Cabify violate the rights of users – and we have the evidence

Carlos Rodríguez, community manager at Elite Taxi Association Barcelona and vice-president of the Taxi Project 2.0, summarises a report by Taxi Project on the violation of the rights of consumers using the apps of ridehail platforms Uber and Cabify, finding that the two companies breach numerous fundamental rights of the consumer.

Carlos Rodríguez: Uber y Cabify violan los derechos de los usuarios – y tenemos las evidencias

Carlos Rodríguez, administrador de la comunidad de la Asociación Elite Taxi de Barcelona y vicepresidente del ‘Taxi Project 2.0’, resume un informe de Taxi Project sobre la violación de los derechos de los consumidores que utilizan las apps de las plataformas de ridehail Uber y Cabify, constatando que ambas empresas vulneran numerosos derechos fundamentales del consumidor.

Employers must provide riders with a bike and mobile phone, German court finds

Riders and unions complain that the cost of bike purchase and repair takes a significant chunk out of take-home pay.

Organising gig workers in Belgium: Interview with Martin Willems of ‘United Freelancers’

Martin Willems tells the Gig Economy Project that the trade union movement needs to take organising the self-employed seriously.

“We are what the companies don’t want to exist”: Interview with Nuria Soto of ‘RidersXDerechos’

Nuria Soto of the ‘RidersXDerechos’ movement tells the Gig Economy Project that the Riders Law has its problems but has created an easier “basis for struggle”.

“Somos aquello que las empresas no quieren que exista”: Entrevista con Nuria Soto de RidersXDerechos

Nuria Soto, del movimiento ‘RidersXDerechos’, dice al Gig Economy Project que la Ley Riders tiene sus problemas pero ha creado una “base para la lucha” más fácil.

“The battle of ideas is won”: Interview with Ludovic Voet

The Gig Economy Project speaks to the European Trade Union Confederation’s Secretary Ludovic Voet about the EU Commission’s platform work directive, trade union organising in the gig economy, and whether the present moment is one for a revival of trade unionism in Europe.

Digital labour rights conference hears doubts that EU Commission platform work directive will go far enough

Report from the European Trade Union Institute’s conference on the digital transition and labour rights in Brussels, which heard arguments for the European Commission to avoid a “narrow” law on platform work and instead embrace an “anticipatory perspective”.

Global conference of platform workers in Brussels tells EU Commission: ‘We demand to be recognised as employees’

Message from platform workers’ representing 57 organisations in 18 countries was clear: full employment status, regulation of the algorithms, and build the international strength of the movement.

Why we should fear a Prop-22 law for Europe: Interview with Anne Dufresne

Brussels-based Anne Dufresne, co-author of new book “App Workers United – The Struggle for Rights in the Gig Economy”, tells the Gig Economy Project that the EU Commission’s track record of ‘deconstructing the social rights of member-states’, means we should expect the worst when it comes to their platform work directive in December.

Analysis: Does Uber have green credentials?

Uber says it wants to lead Europe’s zero-carbon transition in the transport sector, but it’s record is a company that has massively contributed to the pollution of cities.

‘We are the trade unionism of the future’: Interview with Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez

In this podcast, the Gig Economy Project speaks to the leader of Élite Taxi Barcelona, Alberto Tito Álvarez, about how the union has been so effective in keeping Uber out of the Catalan capital

‘Somos el sindicalismo del futuro’: Entrevista con Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez

En este podcast, el Gig Economy Project habla con el líder de Élite Taxi Barcelona, Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez, sobre cómo el sindicato ha sido tan eficaz para mantener a Uber fuera de la capital catalana

Berlin: Mass firings at Gorillas in response to wild cat strikes

Layoffs of 350 riders in Berlin come after wild cat strikes, which took place over June and July, re-started last weekend

How can the gig economy be democratised?

At the first ever global forum on democratising work a range of views were heard on routes to democratising the gig economy

UK: Uber strike and court action over “racist” facial recognition software

New strike action against Uber, this time Britain

Anti-Uber Tuesday: Strikes and mobilisations take place from Glasgow to Barcelona

RIDE-HAIL giant Uber were hit by two mobilisations from drivers in north and south Europe on Tuesday [28 September], as UK Uber drivers demanded better conditions of employment, while in Barcelona taxi drivers resisted Uber’s legally questionable presence in the Catalan capital.

Greece: E-food concedes to riders demands in “huge victory”

Major strike and consumer boycott has not only halted E-Food’s plans to stop employing the riders, it has strengthened the security of the riders’ contracts

Riders set to strike across Greece after viral #Cancel_EFood campaign

Strike comes after thousands of customers deleted E-Food’s app in protest at plan to force all riders to become independent contractors

European Parliament demands EU Commission delivers rights for platform workers

Overwhelming vote of MEPs in favour of a legal presumption of employment in the platform sector is non-binding, but it applies pressure on to the European Commission to deliver

Video: ‘The intersectional precarity of platform cycle delivery workers’

Researchers Boig and Popan show in this video how women and migrants suffer particular forms of exploitation and oppression as platform ‘riders’

Juliet Schor: New research finds transition to employment status for platform workers does not affect flexibility

Gig economy author and scholar Juliet Schor presented new research which refutes a key claim of platform companies: that an employment relationship and flexibility for the worker are incompatible.

UK: Ocado Zoom riders set to strike over outsourcing and poverty pay

Delivery workers for online retailer are hired as ‘independent contractors’ via a subcontractor, and are routinely earning under the legal minimum wage.

Barcelona: Union postpones second wave of riders strike as Glovo requests negotiations

After ignoring the union’s demands for a week and operating a failed bid to break the strike, Glovo has come to the negotiating table

EU Commission and platform worker regulation: 10 meetings with platform companies, none with unions or workers

In a Gig Economy Project exclusive, we reveal the lobbying influence of digital labour platforms over the Commission’s plans for regulating platform work

Organising riders in Barcelona: Interview with CCOO’s Carmen Juares

Carmen Juares has been leading CCOO’s organising of a historic 9-day strike of Glovo riders in Barcelona. Speaking to the Gig Economy Project, Juares says that the big unions “need to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and innovate” to successfully organise in the gig economy.

Organizando a los riders en Barcelona: Entrevista con Carmen Juares de CCOO Catalunya

Carmen Juares ha liderado la organización por parte de CCOO de la histórica huelga de 9 días de los riders de Glovo en Barcelona. En una entrevista con The Gig Economy Project, Jaures afirma que los grandes sindicatos “tienen que estar dispuestos a salir de su zona de confort e innovar” para organizarse con éxito en la economía gig.

Barcelona: Glovo ‘dark supermarket’ riders begin unprecedented strike action

First official strike in the app-based food delivery sector in Spain begins, with five Glovo ‘dark supermarkets’ in Barcelona said to be “paralysed” by the action

Bama Athreya – USA: The defeat of Prop 22 is a victory for gig workers everywhere

Bama Athreya finds that the decision of a Californian judge to over-turn the anti-worker Prop 22 vote in California is testament to the perseverance of union organisers refusing to give in to corporate power.

The pandemic and the gig economy in global perspective: Interview with Kelle Howson

How has the pandemic changed the gig economy? The Gig Economy Project spoke to Fair Work researcher Kelle Howson to find out. This interview is available as a podcast and text.

Carlos Díaz and Lucía Aliagas – Glovo: Exploitive capitalism with an algorithm

Carlos Díaz and Lucía Aliagas from trade union CCOO Catalunya takes a look at Spain’s biggest food delivery company, Glovo, arguing that the company has a mission of “pure economic extraction” and is willing to confront the state through direct insubordination to achieve its aims. If they win, the impact on the working class as a whole will be dramatic.

Spain: Glovo riders protest and picket in Barcelona against “inhuman” competitive pay system

Riders in Barcelona have responded to Spanish food delivery company Glovo’s new competitive pay system for deliveries with four consecutive days of protest, taking their message directly to the company’s headquarters in the city on16 August.


Spain’s Riders Law comes into force: Here’s what you need to know

The Riders Law comes into force in Spain today [12 August], with a great deal of confusion about the exact situation for app-based food delivery workers now, as digital platforms refuse to hire all riders directly despite the Law. The Gig Economy Project talks you through what you need to know.

Trade union opens up a space for riders to wash and use the toilet in Barcelona

The problem of riders having no space to wash and use the toilet affects women in particular, and has been raised with the digital platform companies but with little to no action taken

Capital flight and legislative sabotage – Deliveroo and Glovo refuse to play ball with the Riders Act in Spain

With the Riders Act set to come into force on 12 August in Spain, gig platforms Deliveroo and Glovo are refusing to accept the law of the land: that they have to employ their riders.

‘Don’t Gig Up, Never!’: Research project to examine gig platforms on the margins of the debate

A new research project led by Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (FGB), a not-for-profit specialising in labour policy, will seek to compare a set of digital labour platforms in the areas of cleaning, repair services and micro-tasks. In this piece, FGB explain the project’s plan and objective.

Abiodun and Brian: two stories of unfair terminations

As drivers and riders protest at Uber’s London HQ to demand an end to unfair app terminations, The Gig Economy Project spoke to Abiodun Ogunyemi and Brian Forwood about their experience of being de-activated from Uber and losing their livelihoods over night.

The Gorillas Revolt: Interview with Zeynep Karlıdağ

The Gig Economy Project spoke to Zeynep Karlıdağ, rider at food delivery company Gorillas and member of the Gorillas’ Workers Collective, about their wave of wildcat strikes and warehouse blockades in Berlin.

Calls for new EU Directive to protect workers from AI and algorithmic power

A webinar exploring ‘what does it means to have an algorithm as your manager?’ has heard calls for a new EU Directive specifically aimed at employment protections and rights from the increasingly pervasive role of Artificial Intelligence and data algorithms at work.

Our Gig Economy Project has received funding towards a further year from the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust

We are pleased to announce that we have received an £8,000 grant fund from the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust towards continuing the Gig Economy Project for another 12 months. We thank AWRT for their belief in and commitment to the project.

Robert Ovetz – Why no contracts can be an advantage in gig worker organising

The lack of contractual rules governing platform workers could actually be an advantage for organised gig workers, who are increasingly relying on maximum disruption of the capital accumulation process.

Basque riders included in hospitality collective bargaining agreement

Agreement is the first time digital platform workers in Spain have been included in a broader collective bargaining agreement, and could be a model to follow across the State after the passing of the ‘Riders Law’

Uber cuts pay of longest serving drivers in the UK just one month after union agreement

Uber seeks to claw back costs from accepting worker status for UK drivers by increasing its commission paid by its longest-serving drivers

Robert Ovetz – The case for self-organised workers struggle in the gig economy

Gig workers are finding innovative and effective ways of applying pressure directly onto platform companies and building workers’ power.

Bolt drivers strike in the UK demanding company respects Supreme Court ruling

Bolt drivers demand worker status, an end to unfair dismissals and an extra £2 per mile in 24 hour strike

Prop 22 and the choice between advocacy and lobbying or organising for control over work

Robert Ovetz explores Prop 22 in California and recent attempts to strike deals between gig companies and unions in New York and Seattle, arguing that strategies which prioritise lobbying & advocacy over the self-activity and organisation of gig workers are doomed to fail over the long-term.

Discrimination of cloudworkers in the global south is rife on digital platforms, report finds

Online gig workers in the global south receive lower pay and less work due to discrimination from clients largely based in the global north, with no legal recourse, a new study of Cloudwork platforms has found.

When platforms co-opt gig workers to their cause: Understanding Spain’s anti-labour movement of riders

Podcast with José Domingo Roselló of the the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT)

Britain: Grassroots unions question the value for drivers in GMB’s formal recognition agreement with Uber

The UK union GMB has signed a formal recognition agreement with ride-hail giant Uber, in what is a global first for the company, but grassroots unions which represent Uber drivers have questioned what exactly the union has won for the workers.

Ola, Bolt, and Amazon Flex given zero rating in UK Fair Work study

A study by the Fair Work Foundation which rates platform giants against a check-list of fair work standards has found that Ola, Bolt and Amazon Flex met none of the fair work requirements, achieving a score of zero.

Uber files complaint against taxi union leader in Barcelona Taxi War

Ubers complaint to the competition authority of intimidation and collective boycott comes after two months of failing to re-launch the ride-hail app in the Catalan capital

Union anger as Riders Law finally decreed in Spain but implementation is delayed for 3 months

The Riders Law in Spain is a European first, but unions are unhappy that delays to its implementation is giving food delivery platforms “plenty of time to ‘disconnect’ everyone they want

Workers’ inquiry and the global class struggle: interview with Robert Ovetz

A burgeoning literature is seeking to understand 21st century capitalism from the perspective of work, the working class and class struggle. This ‘workerism’ tradition, historically associated with Italian marxism in the 1960s, starts from the workplace to identify where workers have power and how they can maximise it.

Digital Platform Workers in the Pandemic Crisis: A Year of Struggle

Despite the global recession and pandemic, there are signs that a workers’ movement in the digital platform economy is developing. To mark International Workers’ Day, Ben Wray looks at key developments in platform worker struggles over the past year and what lessons they hold.

Taroa Zúñiga Silva – Why Delivery Workers Across the Planet Are Rising Up Against Exploitation

Even before the crisis of the pandemic, food delivery companies have seen their profits skyrocket while their so-called “self-employed” workers suffer rights violations and were banned from unionising.

Analysis: Is sub-contracting becoming the new normal in the platform economy?

Gig Economy Project co-ordinator Ben Wray finds evidence across Europe that sub-contracting is digital platforms’ plan B to continue reaping the rewards of low-paid, precarious labour.

In a landmark case, an Amsterdam court overturns the automated firing of 6 Uber drivers

A court in Amsterdam has ordered Uber, the ride-hail platform, to re-instate six drivers and pay compensation, on the basis that they were wrongly fired because the decision was made automatically by the company’s algorithm.

UK Deliveroo riders strike to intensify pressure on company following its IPO disaster

Deliveroo riders across the UK began striking 7 April, demanding a real living wage, safety protections and workers’ rights.

Deliveroo’s £1 billion IPO downgrade: gig worker exploitation puts off investors

This is the first time that workers have influenced the IPO of a platform economy company, also thanks to the Uber judgement at the British Supreme Court.

Alex Foti – The Italian Riders Strike was a historic day

Alex Foti reports from Italy’s riders strike on Friday [March 26], which saw delivery workers refuse to respond to the app across the country in a major show of union power.

Carlos Rodríguez: Uber won’t win in Barcelona

Following the taxi protest on Thursday [18 March] against Uber’s return to Barcelona (read more here), it has been revealed that the global ride-hail platform has not been operating in the city since it officially re-launched its app in the Catalan capital on Tuesday.

Carlos Rodríguez: Uber no ganará en Barcelona

Tras la protesta de los taxistas el jueves [18 de marzo] contra el regreso de Uber a Barcelona (leer más aquí), se ha revelado que la plataforma global de viajes compartidos no ha operado en la ciudad desde que relanzó oficialmente su aplicación en la capital catalana el martes.

Taxis shutdown Barcelona to oppose Uber’s ‘illegal’ re-entry

Uber is back in the Catalan capital after being pushed out in 2019, but Barcelona’s taxi leader says “there will be war and it will not stop” if they don’t leave again.

Uber U-turns, classifying UK drivers as workers

Uber change in policy is a first and could have international shock waves, but the company still fell short of full compliance with the UK Supreme Court ruling last month.

Unions and employers agree ‘Riders Law’ with the Spanish Government

Spain’s ‘Riders Law’ is finally agreed after the ‘social dialogue’ process between unions, employers and the government yielded an agreement, but neither all riders nor all digital platforms are happy with the outcome.

Deliveroo riders write to CEO: ‘We’ve suffered for your profiteering’

Deliveroo’s pandemic profiteering has set the company up well for its IPO, which will make the CEO Will Shu hundreds of millions – but the problem of the company’s hyper-exploited gig workers is not going away.

Fairwork Podcast – Contracts (Uber trial in London)

On Friday the 18th of February, the UK Supreme Court announced its judgement on the case Uber V Aslam, rejecting Uber’s appeal and declaring that two of its drivers, Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar must be classified as workers. This was the end of 5 years of legal challenges, with Uber taking their appeal to the highest court in the country.

Focus shifts to government enforcement as platform companies seek to swerve legal defeats

In the UK, Uber is acting like it is business as usual following its Supreme Court defeat last week but is under increasing pressure to comply, while in Italy a public prosecutor has hit gig companies with a huge €700 million fine.

Platform workers set for global action to tell EU Commission: ‘We’re Employees!’

Uber is doing some massive lobbying in Brussels (they spent 200 million dollars to block the labour law in California declaring Uber drivers employees) and they have loads of money for the EU Snouts in the Troughs in Brussels. App workers may have limited funds, but they have the will to win this fight.

Uber drivers are workers from the moment they log-in, UK Supreme Court rules

The legal verdicts against Uber and for workers are mounting up across Europe. Its business model may not be able to survive this. Berlin riders protest against dangerous conditions

A video from of a protest in Berlin of Lieferando and Wolt riders on 11 February, 2021. The protest included members of FAU Berlin and ‘RidersUnite!

Lis Gaibar: When Being a Rider is a Health Risk

Lis Gaibar examines a new study on the health risks of being a rider, and whether the planned ‘Rider Law’ of the Spanish Government will improve the situation.

Podcast: ‘The difference between a slave and a worker’ – interview with Leïla Chaibi MEP

The France Insoumise MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s ‘committee on employment and social affairs’, published a draft proposal for a Directive on the regulation of platform workers across Europe on behalf of The Left Group in November.

Which way forward for gig workers’ rights? France debates ‘wage portage’

The EU is moving towards a regulation of the Gig Economy. Lobbyists in Brussels are spending fast and heavy. What is on the table up to now?

From Gig Worker to Union Leader – Interview with Alex Marshall

The Gig Economy Project spoke to Alex Marshall, new President of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and former delivery courier, in the first Gig Economy Project podcast.

Spain’s gig economy riders win 41st court verdict against platform employers

Report on latest  of 41 court verdicts against false self-employment of riders in Spain, and update on divisions over the Spanish Government’s so-called ‘Riders Law’.

Italian Union Hails Court Victory over ‘Discriminatory’ Deliveroo Algorithm

A Bologna court has ruled that a ranking-based algorithm used by food delivery platform Deliveroo is in breach of labour rights, in a verdict that has been hailed as an “epoch-making turning point” by an Italian union leader.

Our Gig Economy Project has Received Bridge Funding

As 2020 draws to a close, Brave New Europe has received 2,000 in bridge-funding from the German Foundation Menschenwürde und Arbeitswelt (Human dignity and the world of work), which allows us to continue the work of The Gig Economy Project until Spring 2021.

The Workers’ Observatory – Does traditional Union Organising Work in Food Delivery?: The McAlevey Method on Wheels

The wheel does not have to be constantly re-invented, although there is always room for technical improvements.

Cailean Gallagher: Why Workers Observatories can Help Empower Gig Workers

Inspired by the 19th century observatory that sits atop a hill in Scotland’s capital city (pictured below), workers in Edinburgh have launched a Workers Observatory so they can undertake their own inquiries into data-driven platforms and digital work regimes in a city that is determined to become the ‘Data Capital of Europe’.

Annemarie Kern and Valentin Niebler: The YouTubers Union – A Novel Case of Platform Worker Organising

In September 2020, Annemarie Kern, a student assistant at Humboldt University Berlin, and Valentin Niebler, a sociologist at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, published “Organising YouTube. A novel case of platform worker organising” for the Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung Institute. Writing for the Gig Economy Project, Kern and Niebler summarise the findings of their research.

Carlos Rodríguez – Spain: In Madrid they are killing the Taxi Sector

Back to the reality of EU neo-liberalism, whose motto is “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. The regional government in Madrid is only implementing EU policy.

Carlos Rodríguez: En Madrid están matando al sector de taxi

Volviendo a la realidad del neoliberalismo de la UE, cuyo lema es “Nunca dejes que una buena crisis se desperdicie”. El gobierno regional de Madrid sólo está aplicando la política de la UE

USA: The Proposition 22 Campaign in Perspective – Interview with Californian driver Jerome Gage

Proposition 22 in California makes Trump seem an avid democrat. This was plutocracy in action.

ADCU – App Drivers & Couriers Union files ground-breaking legal challenge against Uber’s dismissal of drivers by algorithm in the UK and Portugal

In a landmark legal case, former Uber drivers asks courts in the Netherlands to over-rule the algorithm that fired them

The French Union which Blockades Uber Logistic Centres – Interview with INV’s Ben Ali Brahim

Ali Brahim’s union has made a name for itself through direct action mobilisations blocking Uber logistic centres across France, and organising drivers to deactivate from the app on mass.

Le syndicat français qui bloque les centres logistiques de l’Uber – Entretien avec Ben Ali Brahim de l’INV

Le syndicat d’Ali Brahim s’est fait connaître par des mobilisations d’action directe bloquant les centres logistiques d’Uber dans toute la France, et organisant les chauffeurs pour qu’ils désactivent en masse l’application.

Bama Athreya, Ben Wray – Decent Work in the Digital Economy: Is Data the Key?

Report on the key take-aways from a recent international conference on decent work in the platform economy.

Nicola Countouris, Valerio De Stefano – Collective-Bargaining Rights for Platform Workers

The pioneering Danish collective agreement on platform-based domestic workers has been vitiated by a misguided ruling by its competition authority.

Towards the Uberisation of Care?

“Care” may be the word of 2020, alongside “coronavirus” and “lockdown”.

‘We are Suffering Absolute Insecurity’: Gig Workers Announce 8 October Global Day of Action

App-based delivery workers from 12 countries around the world announced a global day of action for 8 October, and explained how they were suffering in the context of the pandemic.

Gig Economy: Uber and Lyft are spending $181 Million to push through a Referendum in which their Survival is at Stake 

Two Gig Economy platforms are preparing a referendum in California aimed at defending their status as non-employers

Una ILP d’Uber? Proposta 22: una nova ofensiva contra els drets dels treballadors

Com a resposta a la llei californiana AB5 que reconeix la relació laboral dels treballadors d’Uber, les companyies de plataformes han engegat una ILP per tombar-la. Es dirimeix en referèndum les condicions laborals de desenes de milers de treballadors

Uber y Lyft gastan 181 millones de dólares para impulsar un referéndum en el que se juegan su supervivencia

Las empresas de plataforma dedicadas al transporte basado en apps presentaron una iniciativa legislativa referendaria que tendrá lugar en paralelo al voto a las elecciones a la presidencia de los EE UU del día 3 de noviembre de 2020

Carlos Rodríguez – Spain: The Victory of the Riders is a Victory for All

In an important court verdict for gig economy workers, Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that ‘riders’ at Glovo, the Spanish delivery platform, are employees of the company, not self-employed. The company has responded by implying that they will not immediately comply with the verdict of the court. Writing for The Gig Economy Project, Carlos Rodríguez, community manager at Elite Taxi Association Barcelona, says companies must be forced to abide by the laws.

The impact of Lockdown on French Gig Workers

The Gig Economy Project analyses ground-breaking research on the impact of lockdown on the financial security, health and mental well-being of gig economy workers in France.

Bama Athreya – Advancing Decent Work in the Platform Economy – 23 September International Conference

Bama Athreya, Economic Inequality Fellow at the Open Society Foundations and producer of The Gig Podcast, introduces an international conference to be held on Wednesday 23 September which will look at international strategies for decent work in the platform economy. The Gig Economy Project will be participating in the event.

A ‘Riders Law’ for Spain? Interview with Felipe Corredor Álvarez of RidersXDerechos

This newest labour law may well once again be blocked by the Spanish Social Democrats.

Laura Olías – Three Stories of Platform Worker Exploitation

Journalist Laura Olías tells the stories of Javier, Carolina and Luis, platform workers who have suffered different types of exploitation at the hands of Facebook, Amazon and Uber respectively.

Mathew Lawrence – Data and Work

WORK is one of the areas of life that has been most obviously and profoundly re-shaped by the pandemic. We have experienced an unprecedented global experiment in working from home, one that employers are treating as a “living laboratory for a permanent – and highly profitable – no-touch future,” as Naomi Klein has argued.

black & brown – Reclaiming Work: The Cycle Couriers Subverting The Gig Economy

Cycle courier cooperatives are turning technology on the gig economy giants.

Digital Platforms and the Pandemic: Interview with Jamie Woodcock

The changing face of the gig economy

Carlos Rodríguez: Uber and Corruption in Madrid 

The Spanish right-wing Popular Party (PP), notorious for its corruption, now runs the regional and city council of Madrid. They are using their new-found power to liberalise the taxi sector in the Spanish capital. Unsurprisingly, the links between senior figures of the PP in Madrid and digital platforms Uber and Cabify run deep, Carlos Rodríguez of Taxi Project 2.0 explains.

Carlos Rodríguez – Uber y la corrupción en Madrid

El Partido Popular, conocido por su corrupción, ahora dirige los gobiernos regional y municipal en Madrid. Este está utilizando su nuevo poder para liberalizar el sector del taxi en la capital española. Como era de esperar, los vínculos entre las figuras principales del PP en Madrid y las plataformas digitales Uber y Cabify son profundas, explica Carlos Rodríguez de Taxi Project 2.0.

A ‘Complete Reversal’: European Parliament Recommends Equal Rights for Platform Workers in New EU Employment Guidelines

The EU Parliament’s new recommendations on employment protection guidelines are a “complete reversal” of the positions “that have dominated the European institutions for years”, according to its architect. However, the vote is not binding on European institutions. The Gig Economy Project takes a look at the resolution and what it could mean.

Basque Union Mobilises for Riders’ Rights ahead of 12 July Election

Although the Spanish Social Democrats have reneged on their promise to revoke neo-liberal labour laws introduced by the Right, workers and unions in the Basque Country organise to increase workers’ rights.

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito – My Vision for the Transnational Workers’ Network 

Following the first Global Workers’ Conference on 24-25 June of the Transnational Workers’ Network (TWN), Carlos Rodríguez Expósito of Taxi Project 2.0 gives his view of the strategy that can be pursued by the network in moving forward.

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito – Mi visión sobre la Red Transnacional de Trabajadores

Después de la primera Conferencia de Trabajadores Globales del 24-25 de junio de la Red de Trabajadores Transnacionales (TWN), Carlos Rodríguez Expósito del Proyecto Taxi 2.0 da su opinión sobre la estrategia que puede seguir la red para avanzar.

Platform Workers Unite: Global Digital Workers’ Conference June 25-26th

The platform giants are organised transnationally, so platform workers need to organise at that level too. The Gig Economy Project previews an important new initiative to co-ordinate platform workers internationally.

“An Iconic Dispute”: UK Medical Couriers Strike over Sacking of ‘Troublemakers’

The Gig Economy is the exploitation system of the future. That is why corporations are fighting unionisation so vehemently, so that they do not ruin the business model.

Three Months in, Work is already being Transformed by the Covid-19 Crisis

The Gig Economy Project looks at how work is changing in Europe three months into the Covid-19 crisis, finding that the combination of corporate lobbyists exploiting the crisis and the growing dominance of the digital sector is accelerating pre-Covid trends towards precariousness.

Carlos Rodríguez Expósito – A Taxi Driver, a Corrupt Spanish Political Class, and International Finance

To understand Coronavirus crisis in Spain, it is essential to understand its history of endemic corruption, in this case of public services, that is driven by politicians guided by Spains large financial interests (banks and vulture funds).

Uber accused of tax fraud in Spain in landmark legal case

The Taxi Project 2.0 has announced a court action today, making  a claim to the Spanish Public Prosecutor office that Uber had defrauded the Treasury,  in the latest offensive by the Taxi workers’ movement in Spain against the platform giant. The Gig Economy Project reports.

Corona Crisis: ‘We have to fight for our lives while we’re still trying to save other people’s lives’: Interview with UK medical courier Alex Marshall

There’s few more daunting jobs in a pandemic than to be a medical courier. Handling Coronavirus specimens while riding a bike around central London is not fun and games. Medical couriers at The Doctors Laboratory [TDL], a fast growing private healthcare firm in the UK, have been experiencing this on a daily basis for two months, but now they have a new threat to deal with.

The company is looking to make ten of its medical couriers redundant, a cut that is strongly suspected to be motivated by a desire to break the trade union. Alex Marshall, chair of the Industrial Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) Couriers & Logistics Branch, is one of those couriers that has been at the centre of union organising at TDL, and is up for the chop under the muted plans. The IWGB have called a strike ballot among TDL members over the threat to jobs.

The Gig Economy Project spoke to Marshall about TDL, the planned strike and what it has been like to work as a medical courier in London during the Covid-19 crisis.

Alex Foti – Italy: May Day and the Precarious Class

Alex Foti on May Days past and present.

French workers 1-0 Amazon: Interview with Stéphane Enjalran on the Covid-19 Court Victory

French trade unions have won a legal action against Amazon over health & safety at work during Covid-19. Ben Wray spoke to Stéphane Enjalran, National Secretary of the Solidaires trade union, which led the court action, about the significance of the court ruling.

Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez – The Spanish Taxi Drivers’ War on “Platform Capitalism”

In early 2014 taxi drivers in Barcelona rebelled against the unbridled growth of Uber, the online ride service. In six years they have turned that fight into a general offensive against “platform capitalism” in the EU. Alberto Alvarez explains the vehemence.

Alberto ‘Tito’ Álvarez – La lucha del taxi en España: ayer, hoy y mañana

A principios de 2014, nace en Barcelona un movimiento de taxistas inconformistas. Cansados de que las administraciones y sindicatos del taxi no hicieran nada, y poco a poco se fueron sumando más taxistas.

Can the Basque Country Turn the Tide on Uberisation?

Momentum was building against ‘fake self-employment’ in the Basque Country before the Pandemic hit. Ben Wray examines whether the Covid-19 crisis will see Uberisation become more entrenched in ‘Euskal Herria’, or lead to strong Basque worker traditions once again flourishing.

Ekona Collective, Taxi Project 2.0 – Platforms, Workers’ Organisation, and Covid-19: lessons from Spain

The dynamics of platform economies, how workers are seeking to organise in this new form of capitalist organisation, and how they have responded to the Covid-19 crisis

The Gig Economy Couriers: Operating Precariously at the Connection Points of the Covid-19 Economy

Until the lockdown shut most of us behind our four walls, a new distinct feature of the European urban environment had become apparent to all. The gig economy couriers. Riders buzzing round street corners with Deliveroo back-packs on and Uber bumper stickers on cars, they have become an emblem of an age of precarious, app-driven work.

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