The growth of the ‘gig’ economy and ‘gig workers’ in India is a phenomenon of the last decade or so. Names like Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber or Urban Company and Amazon are among the many companies that have come in to provide ‘services’ and ‘employment’ in the form of ‘gigs’. Some of these are off-shoots of international companies, while others are Indian. Over the past two years there have been reports of gig workers demonstrating against their work conditions. Most recently, on 13 December 2021, a PIL filed by large number of gig workers (through their organization, IFAT) was admitted by the Supreme Court.
PUDR is releasing its report ‘Behind the veil of algorithms: Invisible workers - A Report on Workers the ‘Gig’ Economy’ today. The report is based on a fact finding investigation conducted between September – November 2021. The PUDR team was able to speak to workers in Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, and Urban Company; it consulted technical experts and official company publications, as well as independent academic studies and reports, examined judgments in court cases in India and abroad, and spoke to organisations attempting to mobilise gig workers across the country. The report examines the business model of the gig economy and looks the issues that affect gig workers.