Understanding collective labor action in platform businesses
This project will use surveys to assess the role customers play as a source of power for U.S. workers who strike or protest working conditions, as well as the effects of different aspects of job quality on the likelihood of workers to leave a current job. The coronavirus pandemic is providing a laboratory for examining how the salience of these issues affect workers’ views of their jobs and their willingness to work under conditions of varying risk.
The first survey will use experiments embedded in a Facebook-based convenience sample to target food workers broadly, with a focus on W-2 employees at meat processing facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, and platform-based food delivery workers, including but not limited to Instacart. The second will survey a nationally representative sample of the full U.S. population in order to assess changing food consumption habits, as well as perceptions of food workers and collective action during the pandemic. This timely research promises to bring worker views into the public discussion of quality jobs, including welfare and safety, and will shed light on how workers and customers are intertwined in workplace issues of the day.