Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Resisting algorithmic control: Understanding the rise and variety of platform worker mobilisations
    (Wiley, 2023-03)
    Algorithms are seen as effective for managing workers. Literature focuses mainly on the function- ing and impact of algorithmic control on workers' experiences and conditions. The ways in which platform workers have organised collectively to regain control have received far less scholarly attention. This paper addresses this gap by making sense of the mobilisation dynamics of two platform- work categories: crowdwork (Amazon Mechanical Turk) and work on-demand (food-delivery couriers). These are salient mobilisation cases, as these workers have resisted algorithmic control by adopt- ing specific organising modes, action repertoires and collective solidarities. By analysing a combina- tion of extant literature and policy reports concern- ing each category of mobilisation forms at a global level over 5 years, the study elucidates why and how these workers were able to act without the involve- ment of traditional trade unions by showing that specific supportive communities and political activ- ism traditions were crucial in the rise and variety of mobilisation.
      47Scopus© Citations 22
  • Publication
    Mobilizing against the odds. Solidarity in action in the platform economy
    The relationship between working conditions and the development of collective solidarity has been much debated in sociology over the past century. The article contributes to this debate by exploring two recent cases of worker mobilization in the context of the Italian platform economy, concerning Amazon delivery drivers and food delivery couriers. Both groups developed specific identity frames in the course of their mobilizations in four Italian cities between 2018 and 2019, which differed significantly. The article explains those differences through a theoretical framework that bridges social movement and labor studies. While Amazon delivery drivers adopted a mobilizing strategy aimed narrowly at improving their conditions as Amazon workers, food delivery couriers elaborated a broader identity framing as precarious platform workers. The difference can be connected to specific features of labor organization, in particular regarding the diverse conditions met by digital innovation in the two sectors: While Amazon drivers belong to a technologically advanced segment (e-commerce) of a traditional sector (logistics), food delivery couriers are part of a new, platform-based sector. The article shows how such sectoral variation affected ways of collectively organizing, forms of solidarity and identity framing.
      45Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Labour conflicts in the digital age
    (Social Europe Publishing & Consulting, 2023-01-23) ; ;
    Digitalisation is not technologically determined but socially shaped—including by new forms of collective action.
  • Publication
    Think what’s going on in the gig economy has nothing to do with you? Think again
    (Irish Times, 2023-06-22) ;
    Unthinkable: More and more of us are working for algorithms – and losing some of our rights in the process.
  • Publication
    How algorithms are reshaping the exploitation of labour‑power: insights into the process of labour invisibilization in the platform economy
    (Springer, 2023-06-21)
    Marx conceives of capitalism as a production mode based on the exploitation of labour-power, whose productive consumption in the labour process is considered as the main source of value creation. Capitalists seek to obscure and secure workers’ contribution to the production process, whereas workers strive to have their contribution fully recognized. The struggle between capitalists and workers over labour-time is thus central to capital’s valorization process. Hence, capital–labour antagonism is structured over the capture and exploitation of unpaid labour-time. Building on Marx’s labour value theory, as well as on some of its contemporary interpretations, I call this struggle over labour-time capture a process of ‘invisibilization’ of labour. I claim that this invisibilization process is still a relevant form of surplus-value extraction in contemporary capitalism, especially in the platform economy, characterized by remote but pervasive control by algorithms. The rediscovery of this form of surplus-value extraction and its manifestation in platform labour is the main contribution of this study. To corroborate this contribution, I compare the case of platform labour with that of textile-clothing, where value production is more clearly based on the classical forms of surplus-value extraction (i.e., absolute and relative). This comparison helps to cast a new light on the nexus between work-process transformations and surplus-value creation, which is the core of the Marxian labour theory of value, and which – I argue – is crucial to understanding contemporary capitalist developments.
      51Scopus© Citations 3