A precarious gig economy

 

Sir, – Stopping at the lights on Harcourt Street and St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, my attention was drawn to a fellow cyclist pulling aggressively on the zipper of his jacket pocket. It was jammed. Inside the pocket his telephone was pinging loudly. He was frantic to answer the call. Why? Because he would lose the delivery gig if he didn’t get to it on time.

Finally the zip unravelled itself from the nylon attached and he got to the phone, but it had gone quiet.

He shouted a couple of swear words to illustrate the frustration he was feeling. It meant he was back to the end of the queue with the fast-food delivery app that was “employing” him.

I felt sorry for the young man as he dragged his bike off the busy road and sat on the step of one of the Georgian houses. It continued to rain. He looked out at the passing traffic and then bent his head facing the screen of his mobile phone. No business. And all because of a jammed pocket zipper on an anorak provided by the app or company that he gigs for.

He represents a generation unprotected by law, politicians and unions. Why? – Yours, etc,

COLM QUILLIGAN,

Dublin 8.