Reply to post: Tech washing!

You're guilty but broke, judge tells – the 'Uber of laundry'

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Tech washing!

I would call this "tech washing". It's turning what is a nasty business, very old and exploitive business model that treats employees like dirt and removes all their rights into a "cool, trendy, market disruptor".

Just because something's an app or a cool looking web thingie, does not mean that it actually operates in another dimension where the rules of economics no longer apply.

This notion that you can just break everything down into self-employed contractors and undercut the exiting market has been around since the year dot. It was called "piecework" when it was done in the 19th century textile industry and it saw people working at home in places like rural Ireland and earning an absolute pittance while some flashy brand was benefiting from their hard labour, spinning linen or making clothes.

Many of these "disruptors" are basically are basically rebranding horrible 19th century business practices. We spent the best part of the 20th century improving workers' rights and getting away from these practices. Let's not get bamboozled by trendy branding and the notion that just because it's now organised digitally that it's any better!

If you want to do something disruptive, develop a new technology that actually makes life easier for people or does something genuinely new and changes a whole industry paradigm e.g. VoIP is a great example. However, don't fool yourself into thinking you can just break down an existing, functioning business model by a bit of trendy branding and undermining people's conditions of employment.


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