Private: Dr Jamie Woodcock
Jamie Woodcock is a sociologist of work, focusing on digital labour, the gig economy, and resistance. He is currently involved in the Fairwork Foundation, a project about online labour platforms.
There are now over seven million digital ‘platform workers’ that live all over the world, doing work that is outsourced via platforms or apps in the gig economy. Lacking the ability to collectively bargain, platform workers have little ability to negotiate wages and working conditions with their employers who are often on the other side of the world. To respond to that, we are building a ‘Fairwork Foundation’: an organisation that will collaboratively develop principles for fair work to raise standards across the platform economy.
We have begun the process of consultation with key stakeholders, including governments, platform operators, unions and donors to establish the Foundation. Through this, we have established nine key principles for fairness in relation to:
Pay, Conditions, Contracts, Equality, Communication, Management, Governance, Use of Data, Representation.
We are now particularly interested in whether these principles are considered realistic, important, or feasible beyond the initial discussion we have had.
The aim of the project is to certify three kinds of online platforms: location specific platforms (e.g. Uber/Deliveroo), microwork platforms (e.g. Mturk), and macrowork or online freelancing platforms (e.g. Upwork/ Freelancer). We now plan to draw up an annual ranking of platforms within these three types, as well as certifying individual platforms.
To continue the collaborative development of the project, we invite your input about fair principles and standards that you or your organisation believe should apply in the platform economy. These inputs will be collated, discussed, and augmented at further meetings with stakeholders in-country.
We invite you to participate in our short online survey here.