Work, spatial changes and ‘arm’s-length bargaining’ in the platform economy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There are many points of disruption in the platform economy. The attempted dissolution of regulated or organised systems has generated new forms of exploitation but is has also generated a degree of contradictions and new forms of conflict. Industrial relations processes have not simply been removed but have shifted in orientation and the chapter notes how we are seeing new forms of mobilisation and negotiation: a form of arms-length bargaining (to draw on Batstone's concept regarding industrial relations in parts of France: Batstone, 2015; Jefferys, 2015). The chapter also notes that the ruptures in terms of ownership patterns, consumption processes, and the very nature of work (e.g., bogus self-employment) engender new spaces and reference points within mobilising practices. The 'locations' of worker voice and representation consist of a broader range of organisational actors and dynamics as much of the debates are pointing out. This establishes a more fractured and complex form of actors and processes: this generates a further set of pressures on academics and worker activists to understand the way voice and representation is changing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMissing Voice?
Subtitle of host publicationWorker Voice and Social Dialogue in the Platform Economy
EditorsAdrian Wilkinson, Tony Dundon, Paula K. Mowbray, Sarah Brooks
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781839105548
ISBN (Print)978839105531
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameThe Future of Work and Employment series
PublisherEdward Elgar


  • platform economy
  • gig economy
  • worker voice
  • trade unions
  • bargaining
  • regulation


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