Sarah Kaine and Michael Walker write in The Conversation (3.3.16) about lessons that unions and union members might learn from the activities of Uber drivers and others taking advantage of the new ‘digital’ economy.
‘Unions are in a self-described crisis. The well-known tale of union decline in Australia continues with the latest figures revealing less than 15% of workers are members of unions, with that dropping to 11% in the private sector.
‘But that’s not to say workers are not interested in protecting their rights, with even those “gigging” in the new economy showing signs they are prepared to organise themselves to do so. Non-union workers in the “new economy” are campaigning for better working conditions despite not being formally represented, as recent protests demonstrate. So why are unions missing the boat and what can they learn from these emerging informal labour movements?’