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 organisationforms 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 challengesfacing the labour movement, in Italy and in Europe, in the brave new world of the ‘gig economy’.
Access the Research publicationThe mobilisation of gig economy couriers in Italy
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- On-location platform-determined routine work
- industrial action
- Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research (Publisher)
- Qualitative research