Vindication is a dish best served in ratings format – or so it is for the gig worker unions thanking Fairwork India for its report on the labour standards in the platform economy. The report gave zero ratings to Uber, Ola, Dunzo, PharmEasy and Amazon Flex platforms. Even the top score, given to Urban Company (UC), is 7/10. With a section dedicated to ‘Workers’ Stories,’ the report supports workers’ long-standing complaints about companies failing to provide timely wages, insurance or acknowledgement of basic rights. On Twitter the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) even used the ‘Fairwork India Ratings 2022’ report to spark a conversation on workers’ platform experience. https://twitter.com/TGPWU/status/1607749988754522112 https://twitter.com/Connect_IFAT/status/1607792285990924289 One person responded to TGPWU’s query with a Telegraph India report that showed how UC failed to provide minimum wages to its employees despite long working hours. Stories like these are a reminder that even the best case scenario in the Indian gig economy has a long way to go in terms of minimum standards of fair work. In fact, a closer reading of the report provides a summary analysis of all that is wrong with the platform functioning right now. Why it matters: Earlier this year, NITI Aayog in a report on gig and platform workers talked about the theme of flexibility, often viewed as a crucial dimension and benefit of platform work. While the government’s think tank hailed the country’s platform work as “champions” in flexibility, the Fairwork report shows “how the realities of flexibility play…
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