Gig platforms have tried hard to create the image of gig workers as side-hustlers, part-timers, or those who use the work as a hobby to make extra money and who are thus free to hop from one platform to another whenever they want. If gig workers are deemed to be so autonomous and independent, what happens to them when a global platform leaves?
Under the gig platform, technological control and management leads to grievances and perceived injustice. This dimension of control and management overlaps at times with, and is reinforced by, legal and organizational control and management, generating moments of escalation. The contractual design enables intense algorithmic control and management by giving platforms unbridled legal and technological power.
How we navigate this moment of intense uncertainty and collective anxiety will shape the future. Thinking about the many ways that our precarity manifests will be crucial to avoid re-inscribing the inequalities and injustices of the pre-coronavirus world.