Summary: “Uber Drivers and Others in the Gig Economy Take a Stand”

Uber drivers and others in the gig economy take a stand, The New York Times, February 2nd 2016, written by Noam Scheiber.

The article talks about the resistance of the gig economy contractors against their companies. The author declares that the entrepreneurs are mobilizing to demand fair treatment and better conditions from the companies such as Uber, Amazon, etc. Noam Scheiber submits the negative effects of the gig economy and put on the spotlight Uber system.

The issue presented in Uber occurred in the Dallas-area, where due to different measures taken by the company, the drivers of the Uber luxury service ended up losing a big chunk of their revenue. The company pushed them to pick up the clients of the standard service, which pay a lot less. This ended up with mobilizations and strikes. This was the case of other cities as well. The same phenomenon is happening with other gig economy workers, who are feeling “squeezed” by their companies. They lured contractors with promises of independent and self-managing business, but now are constrained as employees without the real benefits of a job contract.

However, the author declares that the perceptions among users of these platforms are not the same. Sellers of eBay and Etsy, indeed consider themselves as contractors, because they still have the possibility of determining the price of their goods and services, in contrast to other affiliates who are forced to follow predefined rates. People chose to work in the gig economy for the flexibility and independence, but the model is getting more and more disadvantageous for them. Nonetheless, workers are still strong and can demand better conditions from their employers because now there are thousands of clients who depend on the services.

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