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Worker solidarity: can it change the way gig economy apps do business?




People sign up to become Uber drivers at the first of Uber's 'Work On Demand' recruitment events where they hope to sign 12,000 new driver-partners, in South Los Angeles on March 10, 2016.
People sign up to become Uber drivers at the first of Uber's 'Work On Demand' recruitment events where they hope to sign 12,000 new driver-partners, in South Los Angeles on March 10, 2016.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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If you’re a gig worker, you might feel like you have no boss to complain to, only a faceless algorithm-powered app which doles out tasks.

But in her recent piece “Revolt of the gig workers: How delivery rage reached a tipping point,” Carolyn Said charts out a recent trend of gig workers organizing and leveraging bad publicity to change conditions within a company.

For example, the delivery company Instacart, which had been using tips to round out the paychecks of its workers. After a recent spate of online petitions and social media organization, the gig workers of Instacart got a win: Instacart will now add tips on top of base pay.

As more and more people take up Lyft, Postmates and other gig work to make ends meet, how will working conditions change? Can workers and consumers change the way these companies operate? If you do gig work, what’s been your personal experience?

Guest:

Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle reporter covering business, tech and the on-demand economy, where her recent piece is “Revolt of the gig workers: How delivery rage reached a tipping point;” she tweets @CSaid