Gig economy has jobs, but long hours, no security and little pay -Nidheesh MK
* In Kerala, the online economy taps into a labour pool willing to take up transient jobs due to lack of better options
* The gig industry is defined as a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs
ERNAKULAM: The city was fast falling asleep. In home after home, bright porch lights were being turned off behind closed gates. Down an empty street, the light from pole lamps kept flickering over a small gathering of people waiting outside a restaurant. Suddenly, one of their smart phones made a loud factory siren-like sound. It was time to get to work.
As the person reached for a packet of food and drove away on his bike to deliver it to a corner of the city, he waved bye to his co-worker, Sidheek Shahudeen.
Shahudeen does not exactly know how the online food delivery system comes together, but he is hungry for work. He raises his phone to the sky every now and then, hoping for better reception from the cell tower, hoping to land a task faster.
Shahudeen is among thousands of others who found new opportunities in the gig economy and were quick to grab them. But they are fast realizing that this is not exactly what they expected. They are told they are their own bosses, but in reality, little distinguishes them from being a slave to their apps. Their days keep getting longer, the earnings fluctuate and the going gets harder.
The gig industry is defined as “a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs".
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