Latin America: Gig economy offers jobs for vulnerable migrants but often at the cost of fundamental labour rights

Author: Americas Quarterly, Published on: 8 May 2020

“The Gig Economy: A Lifeline for Latin American Migrants – or a Dead End?”, 20th April 2020

…The Venezuelan refugee crisis may soon become the largest globally since World War II, different from anything Latin America has experienced before…Nearly 5 million Venezuelans have left their country and are trying to integrate into new societies at a moment when the gig economy has created a new reality for labor markets everywhere.

This interplay is producing similar stories in Bogotá, Lima, Santiago and other Latin American metropolises: the Venezuelan with a college or even a graduate degree who is driving an Uber, Lyft or Cabify to provide for his or her family…

According to reports, Rappi couriers in Colombia make from $20 to $30 in a 14-hour shift…

Job markets are full of imperfections, with lengthy and costly matching processes between employers and employees. Before, a migrant or refugee would likely take whatever “traditional” full-time job came first, out of desperation to get any job regardless of whether it was a good fit. These full-time jobs would offer little flexibility and often require a medium- to long-term commitment…

Gig economy jobs have the potential to change this dynamic, for a few reasons. First, the cost of entry is low. If you sign up, undergo a few checks, and own often inexpensive equipment — such as a bicycle for delivery services or tools for contractor apps —you can hit the ground running and find “a” job relatively quickly…

Read the full post here

Related companies: Cabify Lyft Rappi Uber