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Precarity to Power: Work and organising in Hyderabad’s ride-hailing economy

Precarity to Power: Work and organising in Hyderabad’s ride-hailing economy

Project Contents

Main photo credit: The Road Provides / Shutterstock.com

Overview

This research project investigates the working lives and aspirations of app-based ride-hail workers (e.g. Uber and Ola drivers) in the South Indian city of Hyderabad, in order to understand what worker-defined futures of ride-hail work might look like, and develop instructive insights for local labour organisers and policymakers. This project is being conducted in partnership with the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU), a union in Hyderabad. It employs a qualitative approach, comprising participant observations of ride-hail work, and in-depth interviews with app-based drivers and organisers in Hyderabad. The project’s core aim is to support Hyderabad’s precarious app-based drivers by:

  1. raising awareness among them about the extant forms of labour organising and support for workers,
  2. identifying the vulnerabilities they face and their aspirations for their working lives, and
  3. creating a pipeline for their concerns and visions to feed into labour organising strategies and actions.

Situated within the broader tradition of activist anthropological research, the project’s academic aims are to make contributions to the anthropology of work and unions in the majority world, and to advance methodological conversations on engaged and collaborative research within platform and labour studies.

Main photo credit: The Road Provides / Shutterstock.com

Key Information

Funder:
  • Dieter Schwarz Stiftung gGmbH
  • Project dates:
    February 2022 - January 2023

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