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Organizing on-demand: Representation, voice, and collective bargaining in the gig economy

‘Gig’ or platform-based work represents one of the most recent, highly publicized labour market trends. Attributed to the increased demand for flexibility on the part of employers (Eurofound, 2015a), better labour market efficiency (IOE, 2016) and, in some cases the desire for greater flexibility on the part of workers (De Stefano, 2016), gig and platform-based work is one type of non-standard work facilitated through technology and digital markets, on-demand. Despite its relatively small size (Farrell and Grieg, 2016) the gig economy has the potential to rapidly change the way work is organized and performed, to alter the content and quality of jobs, and to reshape industries. This paper examines challenges to freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining for workers in the gig economy and explores the broad range of strategies that gig-economy workers are using to build collective agency, and to promote effective regulation of gig work.