The gig economy is killing people



The gig economy is killing people. An international group of delivery workers
have published information that, for the first time,
is starting to show the scale of the problem. They’ve collected the stories of fourteen
people who’ve died whilst working for platforms
and they’ve only started to scratch the surface of the real problem. Behind each number, there’s a story. Like 21-year-old Artyk,
a migrant from Kyrgyzstan who worked for ten hours
straight for Yandex Food in St Petersburg before collapsing and dying of exhaustion. Or Bill Chen,
who was hit by a bus whilst working for UberEats in Sydney.
The stories of Jorge, Julien, Pablo, Maurizio, Alberto, Frank, Tsu, Jose, Ramon, Pujan,
and Karim are much the same. But why are these workers dying? Is it their
fault? No. Platform workers are usually paid per delivery
and over the last few years, wages have been driven down to poverty levels. Now that means if you want to make a decent
wage, you’ve got to go faster and faster. If you want to make a living you’ve got
to risk your life. This is capitalism, baby. We’re all told that we’re free and equal,
but in reality working class has to risk their lives
for the profits of the ruling class. And the worst thing is, we’re letting them
get away with it. Take Deliveroo for example:
Company’s worth about two billion dollars. But who actually produced that value?
Who made the company worth what it is? Was it the high-paid London tech bros sitting
in their offices sipping flat whites? Or was it exploited workers
rushing pizzas around the city, risking life and limb as they do so? And look there are all sorts of short-term
solutions to this. .
Every platform should be forced to pay a decent hourly wage,
so that workers aren’t rushing in order to try and make enough to live on. But at the same time,
more regulation just isn’t enough. Fundamentally we need to change
the way that the entire economy works. Rather than a system built on shareholder
profits, we need an economy that runs for the many
and is controlled by the people who actually do the work. Platform workers have had enough of this shit,
and the rest of us could learn something from them.




Comments
  1. Are there sources for these claims? I'm as much of an anticapitalist as the next guy, and i agree the gig economy is a dream only for employers who have no more obligations to their employees, but i don't think you can just assume a traffic accident must have been due to overworking. And nor should you have to to make what is a solid point in its own right.

  2. I agree completely, capitalism does suck and you have played an important role in highlighting its failures. that being said, if we were living under a communist dictatorship or any other supposed utopian vision would you have a platform to voice your concerns freely and openly in an attempt to change the system? my guess is no. moreover, while capitalism does suck, I have not seen a viable alternative as of yet that could lead to, even if it is superficial, social harmony, and therefore I believe capitalism is a necessary evil, not because I am passive or apathetic towards its failures, but because no system of principles or beliefs has led to such technological and humanitarian advances (for example, more people die from eating too much than eating too little!)

  3. shows how powerful the media is! people are convinced that it is in their best interests to punch themselves in the face!

  4. literally could be sorted in a weekend, just make businesses pay real wages, increase taxes and if they refuse then just ban them and let someone else open uber 2.0 that pays wages.

  5. Exploited workers? They would be out of a job if the "high paid London tech" class had not funded and built the company in the first place. Every time attempts have been made to "fundamentally change the way the economy works" we have ended up with starvation and the deaths of millions – what makes you think it would be any different if you had your way?

  6. I am from a very working class background and I don’t agree with anything you’ve said.
    If these people in the gig economy don’t like what they’re doing then they can leave and set up their own business.
    It’s a totally voluntary decision they have made to work for the likes of Uber and Deliveroo.
    You lot make me sick.
    If creating wealth is what these people are doing for these companies then let them leave and do it for themselves.
    It’s easy I did it when I wasn’t happy with my former employer.
    Mind you I didn’t take a holiday for 12 years and I worked 15 hour days for months on end but I got there in the end.
    If I can do it anyone can.
    Get off your lazy backsides and do it and stop blaming others for your inadequacies.

  7. If workers could create value they would start their own companies would they not. I'm afraid it is the entrepreneurs and the executives that 'create' the wealth because they're the only people capable of creating the environment for wealth to be created and grow. If I'm wrong, see how long it would take for the business to fail if you swap the labourer with the executive.

  8. STOP ordering from deliveroo.
    for Christ's sake stop being Lazy.
    we COULD force the hand of big corporations if we all made a decision to stop spending money with them.

  9. The only way you can stop this kind of exploitation under a free market economy, is by increasing benefits and making them easier to claim.

    Benefits give workers' leverage, in that they don't have to take these exploitative jobs if they don't want to. And employers then have to raise wages to get people off welfare

    Of course it might mean a million or so people permanently claiming welfare, but maybe that's a price worth paying to negate poverty pay and hideous health and safety.

  10. RISK-free Robbing Rentier – make sure – no Gs – mean growth – GIG ( Gross Injustice Graveyard ) R > G

  11. Yes, pretty much, literally, everything about the gig economy is so utterly deeply wrong, but there are much better arguments to be made against it other than that an extremely small number of people have died from exhaustion or road accidents. I'm sure there are much much much higher rates of death by exhaustion from construction jobs but that doesn't make that job inherently evil. Rest in peace to these people of course, but like I said, I'm severely unconvinced death by exhaustion or job-specific workplace accidents like an UberEats cyclist getting hit by a car, is anymore prevalent than in pretty much any other industry, job or profession. I think this video is dumb.

  12. Motorcycle/cycle couriers have existed longer than you've been alive…the dangers have always been the same.

  13. 'Who created the value?' What a stupid question. Ordinary people leave their job, use their savings and carry debt to create a company. If the company fails that person is burdened with the costs, debt, loss in wages and loss of job. If the company is successful you turn around and say who created that value? Get the f*** out of here.

  14. Its demand and supply. Where i live there was an over abundance of chefs, they got poor pay and conditions. Now a few years later there is so few chefs around that anyone qualified can name their price.
    Same happened with construction workers. Over the last 10 years, although thats partly driven by the EU credit and banking collapse.

    The gig econemy is fuelled by mass immigration of unskilled workers. I.e. over supply.

  15. Your video doesn't propose any solutions. Many people in favour of conservative capitalism would like to reduce the numbers of people dying at work, but you haven't proposed anything. We're not going to see "fully automated luxury communism" any time soon, a £48 per week UBI is the only idea I've heard that can be implemented immediately. People die it's just a fact of life.

  16. This is so sad and so true. I tried with Uber. It’s BS. You have to go nonstop for hours. No breaks to make a minimum of income. I honestly do not know how any driver makes it.

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