When public authorities promote social dumping

Konstantinos Floros

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Abstract

Algorithmic management of digital labor platforms and the ways in which they circumvent local labor law have produced a growing literature on the “gig economy” in recent years. Despite much attention paid to ridehailing and crowdwork platforms, research work on, the less tech-intensive, housecleaning platforms is limited. In August 2020, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority published two decisions, which practically eliminated the opportunity of setting a minimum hourly fee for housecleaners contracting work through digital platforms. The Danish Authority thus deliberated on an issue which had not previously been clarified through legal procedures; that is the classification of platform workers as independent companies (self-employed persons). This decision highlights how modern digitalized states institutionalize precarity when regulating the digital environment of platform work. Moreover, the decision was issued without any consultation with the workers, which could reveal how ratings, surveillance and algorithmic management challenge the allegedly independent nature of such employment relations. This paper draws on empirical research, specifically policy document analysis and interviews conducted with platform workers and owners, politicians and public sector officials. It aims to critically engage with the role of Danish public authorities and policies in shaping platform work and think with the concept of governmental precarization (Lorey 2015), namely the normalization of insecurity for platform workers expected to self-govern their own precariousness. The proliferation of female, young, migrant -predominantly Latin-American- workers further problematizes the origins of such policymaking and the inequalities it promotes (cf. van Doorn et al. 2020).
van Doorn, N., Ferrari, F., & Graham, M. (2020). Migration and Migrant Labour in the Gig Economy: An Intervention. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3622589
Lorey, I. (2015). State of insecurity: Government of the precarious. Verso Books.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2021
EventDigital Geographies Conference: Critical Perspectives on the Platform Economy - University of Lisbon (virtual), Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 29 Oct 202130 Oct 2021
Conference number: II
http://www.ceg.ulisboa.pt/digitalgeographies/

Conference

ConferenceDigital Geographies Conference
NumberII
LocationUniversity of Lisbon (virtual)
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period29/10/202130/10/2021
Internet address

Keywords

  • Algorithmic Management
  • Digital Labor Platforms
  • Housecleaning Platforms
  • Governmental Precarization
  • Platform Work Policies

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