Worker Organisation in the UK: A Taxonomy of Struggle in the 'Gig Economy'

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: School of Business and Management


A shift has occurred in labour markets towards types of digital platformmediated work. With increasingly more people working in the 'gig
economy', trends that challenge traditional meanings of employment and
workplaces are becoming highly significant.
Many studies have discussed working conditions within the gig economy
(Gandini 2019, Cant 2019). It has also been observed how workers in this
sector are engaged in new forms of political organising (Woodcock 2014,
Wood & Lehdonvirta 2019). However, this previous research has focused
on limited, or non-UK case studies. There has been no taxonomy of the
types of worker organisation happening now in the UK. There is a question
about how these new forms of political organising relate to the social and
working conditions experienced in this sector.
Operaismo, a current in Marxism, offers a potentially fruitful way of
theorising the relationship between social and workplace conditions and
forms of political organisation in the gig economy. Operaismo's
theoretical innovation was 'class composition analysis'. This form of
analysis posits a close relationship between workplace conditions and
forms of political organisation. This study will examine the social and
workplace conditions present in the gig economy; it will further examine
how these conditions produce new forms of political organisation. The
result will be a taxonomy of political organisation happening in the UK gig


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2435415 Studentship ES/P000703/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2021 Kallum Ross Pembro