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Gig Economy #16

  • Getting govt checks
  • “Entrepreneur” meaning
  • Deliveroo U-turn
  • Waiting in line in Alabama
Published every Tuesday

Christian Science Monitor

In a pandemic, is a fast government check better than a larger one?

Sarah Brewer, general manager at The Mugshot Tavern in Canada’s largest metropolis, was laid off on March 16.

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The Pandemic Could Finally Usher In The 4-Day Workweek

The U.S. has long resisted a more flexible work culture. But some companies are now testing out a shorter workweek.

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Editor’s Note:

The overarching questions in the future of work are how the work that needs to be done is split up and how much of it each person gets. Here Clio Chang contrasts the “hustle-to-death attitude” of the gig economy with proposals to work four days a week.

Smart Cities Dive

After years of debate, NYC approves scooter pilot program

The three-bill package of legislation, introduced by City Councilmember Fernando Cabrera, also removes provisions in local law against the operation of e-bikes and electric scooters, and allows for the use of scooters and bikes up to 20 mph and 25 mph, respectively.

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It’s Time to Reclaim the Meaning of the Word ‘Entrepreneur’

Silicon Valley hijacked the concept for the privileged few. A more inclusive definition would benefit everyone.

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The Conversation

Uber, WeWork, Airbnb – how coronavirus is bursting the tech bubble

A handful of technology companies have benefited from coronavirus. Amazon has profited handsomely, as have streaming and video conferencing platforms like Netflix and Zoom. But the pandemic has laid bare the shaky foundations of a number of other platforms that bill themselves as technology companies and have enjoyed the high valuations that come with this label.

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Deutsche Welle

Europe’s meat industry is a coronavirus hot spot

German meat producer Tönnies has been lambasted after scores of its workers contracted COVID-19. Poor working conditions are to blame. Many other European companies, meanwhile, are not treating their workers much better.

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Editor’s Note:

Coronavirus has spotlighted different forms of work that previously went unnoticed, but perhaps none more than meat production. Here DW looks at workers in Germany, who are often subcontractors from Eastern Europe, Latin America or Africa.

Financial Times ($)

UK competition watchdog in U-turn on Deliveroo-Amazon deal

The UK’s competition watchdog has reversed a year-long block on Amazon investing in the UK food delivery service Deliveroo, admitting that the deal will not adversely affect consumers.

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WSJ ($)

Strategy Behind Blockbuster Grubhub Deal: Don’t Deliver

Bid by Dutch giant Just Eat Takeaway would join two companies that have avoided building their own delivery fleets.

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Alabama Media Group

Hundreds of Alabama’s unemployed wait outdoors for help

Hundreds of out-of-work Alabamians waited for hours Wednesday in a Montgomery parking lot for the chance to meet with a representative of the Alabama Department of Labor. Many sat outdoors through the night in intermittent rain in hopes of speaking face-to-face with someone about administrative issues that caused the state to deny their claims for unemployment benefits.

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Editor’s Note:

An ongoing theme of this newsletter has been not just work but supporting those who have lost it. Here Connor Sheets covers the hundreds of people waiting outside an area in Montgomery, Ala. to look for help.

Ars Technica

Car-sharing to get away from the pandemic, according to Turo users

The car-sharing platform Turo surveyed its users and shared the results with Ars.

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