A Tailspin for Taxi Drivers: Platform Labor, Deregulations, and a Migrant Occupation
Keywords:Employment, Wages, Unemployment & Rehabilitation, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Labor Market Institutions & Social Partners, Organization & Management
In this article, we investigate Norwegian taxi drivers’ perceptions and experiences of the introduction of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber. We find that taxi drivers are highly critical, but not over technology or TNCs as such. Their critique is directed at government deregulations of the taxi industry, which paved the way for TNC re-entry. Our findings suggest that, if we are to understand how the platform economy changes work-life and its social consequences, we need to comprehend (1) current digital change in its political context, which in our case pertains notably to deregulations. Equally important (2) is that consequences and struggles are seen in light of the history and social trajectory of the specific occupations affected; a central factor in our case being that the taxi industry has become a typical migrant occupation. Our paper contributes to a more comprehensive picture of structural changes in the digital work-life.
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