Total Eclipse of Work?
Neue Protestformen in der gig economy am Beispiel des Foodora Streiks in Turin
Contemporary capitalism is characterized by the expansion of the digital economy, in which new forms of exploitation and of value creation are taking place. In particular, in the gig economy cheap labour is organized and managed via digital platforms. While new forms of protest are also spreading, there is a lack of research on the ways workers of this sector are organizing in order to face hyper-exploitation and precarity. We analyse the case of the Foodora workers in Turin, who have been organizing protests and a strike in the past months. While Italian unions are slow in facing the challenges brought by the transformation of work since the end of Fordism, these and other precarious workers have been developing innovative forms of protests, including a new form of strike, which is much more autonomous than the Fordist one. We highlight some aspects of the Foodora protest, in particular the re-appropriation of public space and the misuse of the means of production, which are turned into weapons against the employer. Finally, we look closer at the property of algorithms as a key issue for future struggles in the digital economy.