Whether in Kuala Lumpur or California, gig economy workers around the world fear they can no longer survive on meagre earnings from temporary or contractual jobs that leave them increasingly vulnerable.
The origins of the term “gig” stretches back a century to jazz musicians who used it to refer to a one-off show, but now the “gig economy” involves millions of people worldwide in all sorts of jobs, from Uber drivers to teams delivering food, medication and shopping by motorcycle.
Los Angeles-based Erica Mighetto does not buy the argument that gig work is flexible. She said, “You’re in this like, vicious cycle black hole. I personally call it on demand work… there’s no flexibility – you have to work when there’s demand. You’re going to work late nights, long weekends and every single holiday.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Devon Gutekunst shared, “To make decent money… you really have to juggle, to play with all the offers to make your living.”