Deliveroo’s ‘flexible’ labor model likened to 20th century dockyards

report into the pay and conditions for riders delivering food for gig economy platform Deliveroo has urged the company to commit to offering a form of worker status to those riders who form the backbone of its workforce, arguing that the current reality is a dual labour market — which works very well for some riders but very poorly for others.

Far from Deliveroo’s  model representing a hyper modern form of disruption, the report draws a parallel between the five-year-old startup’s ‘flexible work’ model and casual labor practices at British dockyards until the middle of the 20th century — “where workers would gather around the dock gate desperately hoping that they would be offered work”, and where only some workers were fortunate to be offered fairly regular shifts, while others were offered no work at all.

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