Flexibilization and precarization of working conditions and labor relations in the perspective of app-based drivers
Keywords:Uberization, Flexibilization of work, Precarization of work, App-based drivers, Platform workers, Sharing economy
Purpose – The challenges of the growth of the sharing economy are becoming more and more noticeable and urgent, especially concerning labor relations (e.g. uberization). The purpose of this paper is to understand what app-based drivers think of working conditions and labor relations.
Design/methodology/approach – The research was carried out in three stages: bibliographical and documental research, and two empirical research, a quantitative one with the application of a questionnaire in a sample of 54 respondents and another qualitative one using an interview script with ten drivers. For data analysis, the abductive method and the content analysis technique were used.
Findings – The results reveal they have an exhausting labor routine, by checking that they work more hours per week than those who have a formal job. They are driven mainly by the extra income and flexibility that digital platforms of the sector of shared private transportation can offer, although the costs intrinsic to the activity often affect their revenues significantly.
Research limitations/implications – The number of answers from women was very small, which hinders the analysis of the potential specificities of women app-based drivers. Future studies could focus on this public for a more precise analysis, to bring the discussion on gender to the working context of app-based drivers.
Practical implications – The authors’ intention with the research reports was to make them relevant, leading to effective policies concerning working conditions and labor relations in the sharing economy, and to stimulate other surveys to understand the activity of an app-based driver of shared private transportation.
Originality/value – The authors’ research and this article contribute to the discussion on new work relationships, motivations and (dis)satisfaction with the activity, from the perspective of app-based drivers.