The mobilisation of gig economy couriers in Italy

In October 2016, in Turin, northern Italy, cycle couriers working for the German food delivery company Foodora staged a series of public protests which quickly attracted considerable media attention and became known as the first case of workers’ mobilisation in the Italian ‘gig economy’. The protests sparked a lively debate in Italian public opinion about working conditions in the so-called ‘gig’ or ‘on-demand’ economy. However, the debate remains confused by the ambiguous meaning of these terms, often conflated with unrelated concepts such as that of the ‘sharing economy’ (Blanchard, 2015; Drahokoupil and Fabo, 2016); and by the as yet limited understanding of what these ‘new’ work organisation forms entail for the evolution of employment practices (Eurofound, 2015; Valenduc and Vendramin, 2016) and for the possibilities of workers’ collective organisation. Analysing the case of the Foodora riders’ mobilisation in Italy thus offers a timely opportunity to reflect on the current challenges facing the labour movement, in Italy and in Europe, in the brave new world of the ‘gig economy’.


Access the Research publication

The mobilisation of gig economy couriers in Italy
Tassinari, A. and Maccarrone, V. (2017), 'The mobilisation of gig economy couriers in Italy,' Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 23(3), pp. 353-357.


  • Research publication, Case study-platform, Case study-worker
  • Italy
  • Yes
  • transport
  • On-location platform-determined routine work
  • Foodora
  • representation, industrial relations, social dialogue, industrial action
  • English
  • Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research (Publisher)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2017
  • Subscription
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