What is life like for workers in the gig economy? Is it a paradise of flexibility and individual freedom? Or is it a world of exploitation and conflict? Callum Cant took a job with one of the most prominent platforms, Deliveroo, to find out. His vivid account of the reality is grim. Workers are being tyrannised by algorithms and exploited for the profit of the few – but they are not taking it lying down. Cant reveals a transnational network of encrypted chats and informal groups which have given birth to a wave of strikes and protests. Far from being atomised individuals helpless in the face of massive tech companies, workers are tearing up the rulebook and taking back control. New developments in the workplace are combining to produce an explosive subterranean class struggle – where the stakes are high, and the risks are higher. Riding for Deliveroo is the first portrait of a new generation of working class militants. Its mixture of compelling first-hand testimony and engaging analysis is essential for anyone wishing to understand class struggle in platform capitalism.
Riding for Deliveroo, now out on Polity Press.
Tech Won’t Save Us
General Intellect Unit
Off the Fence
Taken for a Ride, Morning Star
The Exploited Underclass is Revolting, Unherd
Riding for Deliveroo, Economic Development Quarterly
Workers and Capital, Tribune
Riding for Deliveroo, LSE Review of Books
A New Breed of Trade Union is Leading the Fight for Precarious Workers, New Statesman
Riding for Deliveroo, Marx & Philosophy
Been tryin’ hard not to get in trouble, but I’ve got class war in my mind, Freedom News
This is a timely and insightful discussion of the conditions faced by gig economy workers. Powerfully written and politically urgent, it should be essential reading for anybody looking to understand – and to challenge – precarity in the age of platform capitalism.
– Helen Hester, University of West London
Riding for Deliveroo is a must read for those interested in the gig economy, providing a powerful argument for how work can be transformed today.
– Jamie Woodcock, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
Riding for Deliveroo provides a compelling and insightful account of the labour struggles at the front lines of the gig economy, deftly weaving individual stories of worker resistance into a rigorous theoretical analysis of modern-day capitalism.
– Wendy Liu, author of forthcoming Abolish Silicon Valley and economics editor of New Socialist
If you want to understand the state of Britain’s economy today – and the extraordinary battles underway to change it – Callum Cant is your man and this is the book to read
– Jack Shenker, journalist and author of Now We Have Your Attention
Callum’s book is really very good! It’s all of: An accessible guide to labour organising in the gig economy; a fascinating insider account of the Deliveroo strikes; and a readable Marxist account of exploitation and resistance under monopoly capitalism.
– Grace Blakely, economist and author of Stolen
This is an excellent book, written in an accessible style, mixing lived experience with bigger-picture theorising of the whole sector.
– Will Stronge, director of Autonomy think tank
An excellent book by an excellent comrade
– Sarah Jaffe, journalist and author of Necessary Trouble