Uber has sparked protests around the world. It is seen as exploiting its own drivers and harming those employed in regulated taxi industries.
Many Uber drivers do their job because the alternatives are worse. It's an unhappy work choice faced by an increasing number of Australians.
In Victoria in 1992, every government-employed school cleaner was terminated overnight.
Public schools in some states outsourced their cleaning services to private companies as part of a neoliberal experiment starting in the 1990s. This has had a host of impacts, including on students.
Sugar baby websites exemplify a wider trend of casualisation in working relationships.
Sugar daddy capitalism is deformalising relationships and erasing the lines between commercial and non-commercial worlds.
Underemployment and stagnant wages may be strong signs of worker insecurity in the face of relentless cost-cutting.
Most workers are still employees, not casuals or gig workers. So what has changed to increase the insecurity of workers?
Gig platforms don’t have a large share of the labour market yet.
There is very little evidence that overall labour market insecurity is getting any worse. Trends are stable for rates of casualisation, churn, self-employment and multiple job holders.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and arts and recreation services are much more precarious for their employees.
Despite relatively stable and low levels of unemployment, workers are increasingly concerned that their jobs are at risk.
The option of “holding out” for a permanent job looks increasingly risky as these opportunities dwindle.
The costs of casual work are now outweighing the slim benefits in wages (and even those are not as much as they used to be).
There was enormous growth in casual employment prior to 1998.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said that casual employment has not increased in Australia for the past 18 years. Is that right?
With stable jobs in short supply, what does the future hold for Australia’s young workers?
The term “precariat” conveys the idea that the old working class, the proletariat, has transmuted into a new social class where work and life are characterised by precariousness and risk. While the old…