CfP: Food delivery worker organizing in the Global South (Journal of Labor and Society)

Call for papers, deadline 15 June 2020

The editorial board of the Journal of Labor and Society (LANDS) invites submissions for a special issue on food delivery worker organizing in the Global South.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, many countries around the world have classified food delivery workers as “essential workers”. The growing demand for delivery services has increased the profits of platform companies such as UberEats, Glovo, Rappi, GoJek, and Grab by exposing workers to a severe life threat. And yet, these companies employ workers as independent contractors, denying them social security, health insurance and the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Nevertheless, in the last four years, food-delivery workers have mobilized grassroots organizations and unions, coordinated transnational activist networks, developed digital apps to facilitate organizing within a fragmented workforce, created platform cooperatives to establish worker control, signed bills of rights, organized strikes and engaged in a number of legal actions against corporations for the recognition of labor rights. In fact, in the midst of the pandemic, food delivery workers have organized international strikes to demand paid sick leave, social security and personal protective equipment.

This special of LANDS is seeking research articles and essays on platform workers’ organizing in the Global South with particular attention to food delivery workers in Latin America and Southeast Asia, but also South Asia, Southwest Asia, and Africa. We are interested in essays which examine how platform workers are promoting mutual aid, negotiating with the governments to regulate digital work and creating networks of transnational solidarity to challenge platform corporations on a global level. In addition, we are seeking essays which explore the class subjectivity of workers and the possible development of strong and reliable organisations to represent their interests through economic struggles and political mobilisations.

Abstracts of 250 words are due on 15 June 2020, which should include research and short bios of author(s). Final essays are due on 15 August 2020. Please submit proposals to: Send Emails to: Immanuel Ness: and Paolo Marinaro, Editor of Special Issue Immanuel Ness, Editor Paolo Marinaro, Editor, Special Issue