Autonomy: A small saving grace amidst the pressures of gig economy work
Our colleagues at UWA, Caleb Goods, Alex Veen, and Tom Barratt, published some early findings from their research on food delivery workers. In an article in The Conversation, these colleagues describe how the gig economy is not the flexible utopia it is often suggested to be, especially for international students who are "stuck between a rock and a hard place" (trying to make a living but, mean time, restricted in the hours they are permitted to work because of their student status). Low pay is a hall mark of many gig jobs.
One aspect of the work, however, that seems to be a small saving grace is that the workers have autonomy. As one noted: "I used to work in restaurants beforehand. But then it’s like there’s a boss sitting out over there, they don’t pay you well. So it’s better working with Uber because it’s like you have your own vehicle, you’re driving it".
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