13 April 2017

The Uberisation of work: the real subsumption of 'getting by'

Ludmila Costhek Abílio on transformations of labour in Brazil.


Ludmila Costhek Abílio is a visiting researcher at the CESIT (Centre for Trade Union and Labour Studies) – Institute of Economics – UNICAMP – Brazil. This article was originally published in Portuguese at Passapalavra and atBlog da Boitempo.


Between beauty salons and apps

In October 2016, Michel Temer’s government sanctioned the Salão parceiro – profissional parceiro (‘Beauty salon partner – professional partner’) law. In the turbulent Brazilian context of the return of austerity packages, which include forthcoming state pension reform, labour reform, as well as the already sanctioned PEC241 – a constitutional reform limiting the expenditures in health, education, social welfare and public services for the next two decades – the law was conveniently unnoticed. Approved five months before the legal liberalisation of outsourcing in a variety of economic activities, including those of the public sector, it determines that beauty salon owners are no longer obliged to recognise their employment relationship with their manicurists, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians. The law determines that an establishment is responsible for providing the necessary infrastructure – the other workers continue to be recognised as employees – so that their “partners”, who are now legally self-employed, can carry out their work. Thus, the manicurist who works eight or more hours per day, six days a week, for the same salon, will probably become a service provider.

Most likely because it applies to a job typically carried out by women, apparently of little relevance or social visibility, the law has been received more as a mere deregulation than as a legal move towards the uberisation of work in Brazil. Uberisation, as understood here, refers to a new stage of labour exploitation, which results in qualitative changes to the worker’s categorisation and recognition, the structure of companies, in addition to means of control, management and expropriation of labour. This is a new step towards outsourcing that, while complementing the previous model of subcontracting networks made up of a wide range of firms, can also compete with it. Uberisation consolidates the passage of the worker to a nanoentrepreneur who is permanently available to work; it appropriates, in a productive and administered way, the progressive erosion of the public realm as the fundamental field of work regulation; furthermore, minimum guarantees are taken away while the worker remains subordinated.

This subordination, however, can operate under new logics. Uberisation can be understood as a possible future for companies in general, that become responsible for providing the infrastructure to allow their “partners” to carry out their work. It is not hard to imagine hospitals, universities and companies from a wide range of areas adopting this model, using the work of their “just-in-time partners” according to their demands.[i] However, looking at the present reality of the digital economy and its Uber drivers, Deliveroo motorcycle couriers, Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, it is possible to see the model in action, and understand that it is not only based on eliminating or disguising the employment relationship. Uber has made visible a new level of real subsumption of labour, extending globally and currently comprising millions of workers around the world, with the potential to become generalised in multiple sectors.

Uberisation has not suddenly arisen from the digital economy. It has been developing for decades and has more recently materialised in this new field. Companies that promote uberisation  in the digital economy field – from now on known as app-companies – develop mechanisms to transfer risk and costs not to other subordinated companies, but to a multitude of available and engaged independent self-employed contractors. In practice, such a transfer is managed by software and online platforms owned by these companies, which match worker-users with consumer-users, dictating and managing the rules (including the determinations of costs and gains) of this connection.

The fact is that app-companies lack the traditional material aspects of a company, but have high visibility. The sheer importance of Uber around the world allows the use of the term in question. The source of the fetishised “brand strength” in this case are the multitude of workers as well as the consumers that the company mobilises around the world – in the city of São Paulo alone there are more uber drivers than taxi drivers, with numbers exceeding 50,000; the company however does not disclose this data.[ii]

The way in which Uber was organised brought to light fundamental issues of capitalist development, such as urban mobility and the legislations surrounding the digital economy. Uber has become the subject of electoral campaigns and debates, moving through the conflictive quick sands of the permeable area between companies and state, that involves the interests of consumer-voters, workers conflicts and the disputes of titans over the so called “free” market. However, beyond this, Uber shed light on world labour market tendencies, that involve not only the transformation of the worker into a microentrepreneur, but also of the worker into a productive amateur worker[iii], a definition that will be presented throughout the analysis.

App-companies establish themselves on the market as mediators between consumers and workers-microentrepreneurs, providing the necessary infrastructure – albeit virtual – so that this meeting can take place. Just as in the case of the beauty salon owner that receives a commission for the manicurist’s work, Uber receives a percentage (25%) for acting as the mediator between thrifty consumers and the extensive number of amateur drivers, appearing as a virtual infrastructure provider for this relation to take place. Its role, however, is clearly much more complex than this. Thus, as with the manicurist “partner” – who, in her relationship with the owner of the beauty salon, is not in a position of equality to define her financial gains, work load and the length of her workday – the work of the uberised worker is also subsumed. The means of control, management, surveillance and expropriation of his work are simultaneously evident and barely tangible: after all, the status of the driver is self-employed, thus not an employee, but a registered worker (or “partner”) who works according to his own purpose. At the same time, the worker is managed by a software installed on his smartphone; despite the company defining the rules, it appears more as a brand than as a company as such. However, the market ideology of a “partnership” between workers and theapp-company quickly becomes fragile when uberised workers take charge of their power as a multitude and establish collective forms of resistance and negotiation. Means of control, expropriation and oppression thus become more explicit while the company becomes more concrete.

New forms of political organisation that involve the creation of trade unions of independent workers, strikes and demonstrations carried out by uberised workers are already taking place around the world. Uber drivers in the US (currently more than 400,000) joined nurses, hospitality workers, among others, in the “Fight for US$15” campaign, that fought for a minimum wage of US$15 per hour of work.[iv] In California, Uber opted to pay US$100 million in an agreement with tens of millions of workers (there are no precise data available on this number) that took part in a collective action requiring legal recognition of the employment relationship with the company. The agreement prevented the process going to court.[v] At the end of the year, the English justice system determined that Uber recognise its drivers as staff employees; this process is on-going.[vi]

The motorcycle couriers that work for the Brazilian app Loggi also organised demonstrations under the coordination of SindimotoSP (a São Paulo based trade union) by blocking lanes on two major roads in the city. These demonstrations were the result of a new rule of remuneration per delivery implemented by the company, which in reality increased its percentage gains over the work of the drivers. Cycle couriers from the company Foodora organised the first strikes of this kind against an app-company in Italy, which also made explicit new forms of repression (such as suspending the use of the app by movement leaders), in addition to new forms of solidarity (when user-consumers started to boycott the app).[vii] After seven days of strike, motorcycle couriers from the app Deliveroo prevented changes from being implemented that would have reduced their hourly rate.[viii] In 2016, the App Drivers Trade Union was created in São Paulo, and the Association of Autonomous App Drivers and the Trade Union for Private Individual Passenger Drivers was set up in the state of Pernambuco. At the beginning of 2017, Uber attempted to prevent the formation of trade unions by taking legal action in Seattle.[ix]

Taxi drivers protests in Rio de Janeiro in 2015
Taxi drivers protests in Rio de Janeiro in 2015

The worker-profile and the consumer-supervisor

Basically speaking, Uber matches the multitude of amateur paid drivers with a multitude of users looking for lower prices compared to taxis. In some cities, Uber is an economically accessible option, of higher quality and faster than public transport. Entering the market in an extremely predatory way, acting in a regulatory vacuum, the company has quickly reconfigured the private market of urban mobility. Uber deploys an aggressive strategy to dominate local markets; in many cities it is illegal yet continues to operate normally. To achieve this, they count on a multitude of users and recruit – or more accurately, count on the permanent adhesion of – a multitude of amateur drivers, who see this profession as a method of income generation.

Uber, like other companies that operate with the same logic, establishes rules, evaluation criteria, ways to manage the workers and their work, while at the same time being exempt from responsibilities and requirements that would lead to the legal recognition of the employment relationship. Consumption, evaluation, data collection and surveillance are inseparable elements. In reality, the control over the work is transferred to the multitude of consumers, who evaluate the professionals on each service provided. This evaluation of the worker is visible to all the other users. The work is now certified in the realm of consumption, via a type of collective manager that provides continual control over the worker. Confidence – a key element to the consumer putting their goods and documents into the hands of a motorbike courier, to get into the car of an unknown person that will be your driver (and unlike a taxi driver, did not go through a certification process ruled by the state), – is therefore guaranteed by the activity of this supervisory multitude that engages and trusts in its role as certifier. Thus, the uberised worker is aware that he is being continually watched and evaluated. This new form of control has shown to be effective in guaranteeing productivity and standard procedures – although informally defined – that determines patterns of quality and efficiency for the drivers. When the workers comply, they work for themselves and for the company, for their  own means and for the cultivation of the brand, which in reality depends entirely on the dispersed actions of this army of drivers.

The realisation of the work depends on the disposition of the worker to accept the task at hand i.e. constant management of his own productivity. But it also means beating the competition. The consumers’ evaluation supplies the elements in order to rank the workers. This operates as a criterion to determine – in a programmed and automatised way – which workers, among the large numbers of drivers available, have more access to specific rides.

Workers and consumers become virtual profiles, effectively registration numbers. Their activity is material and tangible, at the same time as it is mediated and ruled by software and their algorithms. A worker-profile in a database of a multitude signifies, in practice, a self-employed worker, that assumes the risks and costs of his work, defines his own working day and level of dedication and, in addition, creates strategies to deal with the extensive number of competitors that permanently hangs over his head.[x]

Uberisation, therefore, consolidates the worker as a microentrepreneur. This consolidation involves new logics that depend, on the one hand, on outsourcing the control of the companies to consumers; and, on the other hand, on the engagement of the multitude of workers with their own productivity, in addition to the transfer of costs and risks from the company to their “partners”.

An additional step towards the flexibilisation of work

The term “flexibilisation” has explanatory force when it is understood as a reference to the contemporary changes taking place in labour processes regarding the relationship between the state, capital and labour, in addition to the relationship between technological innovations, the rise in unemployment and national state policies that break down the barriers to financial and investment flows. In other words, it refers to the relationship between capital and labour mobility at a global level. Flexibilisation can also be understood more simply as the contemporary means to eliminate workers’ rights and, in addition to this, the transferral of risk, costs and unpaid work to the workers. This transferral involves the extension of labour time and the intensification of labour to the extent that they become difficult to recognise as such.

In the last decades, it became clear that even labour management could be transferred to the worker – clearly a management of a subordinated nature, woven by the threats of competition and unemployment. The fact is that the change from time clock to personal wrist watch proved to be extremely efficient in extending labour time and intensifying labour. Currently, an eight-hour workday is a distant memory for workers of many different qualification levels and remunerations.[xi]

Therefore, at the heart of flexibilisation is the transferral of management, costs and risks of the labour to the worker, while maintaining control over his productivity. Both David Harvey – in his definition of organisation through dispersal – and João Bernardo – on how outsourcing production does not mean loss of control – emphasise that the dispersion of work does not mean capital’s loss of control, or any type of democratisation in the work process.[xii] On the contrary, what has been seen in recent decades is the major centralisation of capital accompanied by new forms of work intensification, extension of labour time and transferral of risks and costs to the workers, in forms that are increasingly difficult to map.

Uberisation complements “the classical” outsourcing while also competing with it. It is complementary in that it is an additional step towards transferring the costs and responsibility of production. It is also, however, a way to eliminate outsourced companies that do not have the means to compete with app-companies. This is noted in the motorcycle courier segment. In the 1980s, the motoboy was directly hired by a company, and the motorbike was even owned by the contractor and not the worker. From the 1990s, outsourced courier companies took over the market. There are currently 900,000 motorcycle couriers in Brazil, with around 200,000 of these in the city of São Paulo alone. This immense army of motorbike drivers – who risk their lives and bodies on a daily basis to guarantee the circulation of goods and documents – has expanded together with the level of outsourcing of their job. The lower classes now have access to credit that makes it possible to finance the purchase of a motorbike; the use of the mobile phone has become a popular work tool, which completely reconfigures the logistics and pace of the work of these professionals; the possibility of earning a higher remuneration than other low skilled jobs are elements that contribute to the consolidation and spread of outsourced companies and an ample job on offer for motorcycle drivers. At the same time, the growth in the contingency of workers and contracting companies is also related to the development of the city of São Paulo as a collapsed metropolis in relation to urban mobility, while at the same time being a global financial centre.

Motorcycle courier app-companies have entered this well-consolidated universe of outsourced companies and its immense army of workers. These apps have been on the market for less than five years – though there are no precise data -, but it is certain that they count on thousands of motorcycle couriers in São Paulo.[xiii] To deliver for Loggi, the courier becomes a microentrepreneur (MEI in Brazil) and must be regulated as a motorcycle courier.[xiv] The founders of Loggi entered onto the market creating a niche that previously did not exist. Like Uber, Loggi app connects consumers and motorcycle couriers; it defines the price of the delivery, keeping a 20% commission for this mediation; it has automatised the logistics, developing software that geolocalises the couriers available and the consumers. The consumer makes a request, the online platform makes the request visible to the closest motorcycle couriers, and whoever accepts first, takes the delivery. Motorcycle couriers are mapped before and during the delivery, and the consumer can follow his location online. This surveillance operates as a mechanism that is fundamental to the consumer’s confidence in the service. For the courier, the app is a way to free him from the exploitation of the outsourced company (which in general takes 40% of the cost of the delivery) and turn into a self-employed worker, which, at least for now, provides him with a higher income. Being self-employed means having to give up certain rights (for themotoboys that are formal workers) in addition to facing the permanently difficult relationship between competitors and income level; the higher the number of workers that adhere to the apps, the smaller the possibility of earning, and most likely, the more one will have to work.[xv]

In addition, uberisation and traditional outsourcing can complement each other. For many, the app and outsourced companies are complementary. The motoboy may establish his own strategies to work for both of them at the same time, promoting new informal ways of labour intensification, matching his precarious formal job with the work offer from the apps. In this way, the motorcycle courier fills up the pores of his workday with the tasks offered by the apps – a strategy that requires knowledge of his own logistics.

The brave new world of the e-marketplace

To understand uberisation, we must use the terms already familiar to the market, but not so much to critical social thought. The digital economy today is a new field of work flexibilisation, being a virtual space that connects the activities of consumers, workers and companies, in less recognisable and locatable forms.

At present, regarding Brazil, many professionals such as drivers, motorcycle couriers, lorry drivers, beauticians, builders, cleaners, nannies, as well as lawyers, doctors, teachers, can count on apps that enable the uberisation of their work. The labour market is penetrated by a virtual space of buying and selling work, known as the e-marketplace. This virtual universe is extremely favourable to the transformation of workers into microentrepreneurs, as well as workers into amateur workers. As one director of a motorcycle courier app-company in São Paulo explained, the “e-marketplace is a place where people meet. We are a place where people that are looking for a courier motorcycle service can find motorcycle couriers.”

The e-marketplace has become a useful and profitable universe, boosted by new company models known as startups. Loggi, Uber, Google and Facebook are examples of startups that succeeded. Startup is the name for the contemporary combination of innovation, entrepreneurship and a substantial participation of investment funds. They are small companies with major potential in terms of profits; innovation here refers to technological development, but also the possibility to create new business models. Startups materialise the entrepreneur spirit of contemporary capitalism and a new form of future corporations. Uber is good example of a successful startup – as given on its site, it was founded in 2008 when two enlightened friends, while walking around Paris, realised that the difficulty in finding a taxi was in fact a perfect niche market. Launched onto the market in 2010, the company can currently be found in 540 cities around the world. In 2016, its market value was more than US$64 billion. The company gets rid of labour costs yet maintaining productivity gains and control over production. The startups that establish themselves as app-companies – as understood in this study – reached the pinnacle of the lean company, with very few employees and millions of connected entrepreneurs – amateur workers – and engaged consumers. These companies are fundamental in consolidating the e-marketplace, but appear as simple mediators between supply and demand (as with Amazon; the mobile apps for taxis, such as Easytaxi; online clothes shops, such as Boohoo). In reality, some of these companies dramatically reorganise the world of work, establishing new niches in diverse occupations, new forms of control over work and new consumer experiences.

Crowdsourcing: the productive multitude of amateur workers

In 2008, the journalist Jeff Howe coined the term crowdsourcing.[xvi] Outsourcing had reached a new stage, feeding now from thecrowd. Navigating in the celebration of the sharing economy, the author in fact reveals an ongoing massive transfer of work traditionally carried out by companies to the users of cyberspace. Uberisation and crowdsourcing are deeply connected when we look at the multitude of amateur workers, which are explicitly working. But their work does not count on labour rights or state regulations, nor does it give them a stable professional identity. Sometimes, it is not even defined as work. From the side of the companies, the amateur work of the crowd functions as unpaid or low paid work. At present, the transferal of work in the form of work can be recognised in several sites that count on the adhesion of a multitude of users-workers. At the beginning of the 2000s, NASA created the Clickworkers project and with it discovered that it was not necessary to hire workers to identify elements such as craters in photos from Mars: after testing the multitude, it proved that this was as efficient and a much faster way to carry out the task, in an unpaid form of “collaboration for the future”. The site Innocentive currently congregates uberised scientists with corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson’s & Johnson’s. These companies realised that their Research and Development departments could be extended to improvised laboratories of professionals looking to complement their income or merely motivated by the “challenges” offered on the site. The solutions proposed by the users can be patented by the companies, while the selected/winner user receives a financial prize.

Crowdsourcing is only possible if the worker is an amateur worker. What we come across is a significant loss – that can be profitably appropriated – of stable socially established elements that structured professional identity, recognition of work and of the worker. The multitude of workers carry out work without its socially defined form, in activities that can move between leisure, creativity, consumption and ways of income generation. The Uber driver is not a professional driver, as in the case of a taxi driver. The problem solver at Innocentive may even be an employee from a Research and Development department, but as a user, he is an amateur scientist. There is no defined workplace, no employment relationship, no dedication required, no selection process, contract or dismissal (although, as has been shown, the competition is permanent, in a diffused and non-localisable form). It can be said that, in contemporaneity, every worker is a potential amateur worker. As with the motorcycle courier combining his work from the outsourced company with that from the app, and the self-employed engineer who spends his days between the computer and at the wheel of the Uber car, workers with the most diverse socioeconomic profiles engage in activities that do not have a definable professional status, but are a source of income, cost reduction, or even a way to exercise their creativity.

From “getting by” to Gig Economy

Returning to the beauty salons, with typically female workers it is possible to identify the roots of flexible work that crosses the market from top to bottom. The blurred lines between what is and what is not labour time, the fusion between professional and private spheres, the absence of the public realm as the main field for labour regulations, as well as the uncertainty over what is and what is not work are some of the elements that weave women’s lives. In the most precarious jobs as sewing homework, domestic employment, the work of housewives, one can identify elements that weave contemporary forms of labour exploitation. Investigating a typically female occupation, it was possible to identify tendencies in progress on the labour market, that today visibly merge with uberisation. Cosmetic resellers, for the Brazilian company Natura alone, comprise more than 1.5 million women in Brazil. From diverse socioeconomic profiles such as cleaners, secretaries, teachers and housewives, they combine their profession, or the lack of, with resales. Resales are largely permeable with the resellers private life and other occupations. Selling throughout the workday in schools, offices, at family gatherings, advertising makeup workshops during holidays, distributing products while working in public institutions: what was found in the research was a total adhesion to work with no actual labour form; and it is precisely this lack of form that makes its permeability with other activities possible.

The company transfers a series of risks and costs to the multitude of workers, and counts on non-accountable and unpaid work performed by these women. The home, the workplace, the investment in products for personal use as a means to sell, as well as personal relationships work as vectors for the sales and also to promote the brand. But what is of greater interest here is the recognition of the adhesion of 1.5 million women (in Brazil alone), to amateur work. Labour without defined labour forms, with fragile regulation, that operates as a means to complement income, as an exercise of an undefined professional identity and to facilitate consumption. From the company’s point of view, the informal amateur work is well appropriated, and tied by the transformation of informality into information, in a factory in which its just-in-time production is driven by the pace of this gigantic army.

The relationship that the Uber driver has with his work is very similar to that of the Natura reseller: a supplement to their income from an activity that does not confer a professional status; it is a contingent work, amateur work, for which they use their own car, driving skills, personal strategies and availability for the work.

Looking at these workers, the notion of “getting by” stands out. This is a definition that is both up to date and historically structural to Brazilian labour. The notion of getting by[xvii] is not significantly addressed in Brazilian labour studies, including in the production and analysis of data on employment/unemployment; however, it is a fundamental part of the life and survival of low qualified and poorly paid workers. The concept of “living on the edge” for the majority of Brazilian population means constantly grabbing opportunities, which technically speaking translates into a high turnover on the Brazilian labour market, the constant movement between formal and informal work (Cardoso, 2013), on combining contingent jobs, social programs of income generation, illegal activities and formal work (see research on living in the periphery, in particular those coordinated by Gabriel Feltran, Vera Telles, Cibele Rizek, Robert Cabanes and Isabel Georges[xviii]). The professional trajectory of themotoboys interviewed makes this evident. Today a formal motorcycle courier and informal pizza delivery boy, tomorrow a self employed app motorcycle courier; yesterday shoe factory worker, car-parking attendant, pizza maker, street market seller, car wash worker. Today amotogirl, before this a cleaner, kitchen assistant and coordinator at a clinic for drug addicts. Motorcycle courier, locksmith, salesman in a construction materials shop; confectioner and builder. Owner of a small beverage shop, low-paid farmer, bank worker, and today self-employed motorcycle courier. Todaymotoboy, previously cleaner, doorman and bus fare collector. This is the movement with which a large percentage of Brazilians weave the world of work.

The notion of “getting by”, however, now seems to go beyond typical structural element of peripheral countries’ labour markets. It has always been in the core of labour markets of these countries, although it has been commonly taken as an unimportant or irrelevant aspect, understood more as a sign of their late development than as an important element of capitalist accumulation. It seems now to become more recognisable and finally more politically relevant under the western definition of gig economy, which nominates the market moved by this multitude of workers that adhere to unstable work, that has no defined identity, and move between being contingent work or activities for which there is not even a defined name. The online platform of the company Airbnb, for example, counts on the adhesion of millions of users that make their homes available for instant and momentary rental. Acting as amateur microentrepreneurs, they become a kind of manager/ administrator of their own homes. Gig economy is composed of remunerated services, that barely have a concrete labour form, that count on the engagement of the worker-user, on his self-management and his own definition of personal strategies. Gig economy gives name to the multitude of just-in-time workers (as highlighted by Francisco de Oliveira at the beginning of the 2000s and Naomi Klein in mapping the path from brands to workers) [xix], that adhere in an unstable and permanently transitory form to diverse occupations and activities as a means of survival and other subjective motivations that must be better understood. These activities are however subsumed, under forms of control and exploitation, at the same time evident but hardly localisable. The so-calledsocial disposability is also productive. At least for now.



[i] The zero-hours contract already covers 3% of the workforce in the UK, more than 900,000 workers, and has grown exponentially since 2012. This contract regulates the conditions of thejust-in-time worker, allowing companies to employ workers according to their needs, with lower costs and fees involved.


[iii] For a discussion on the work of the amateur worker, see: Dujarier, M.Le travail du consommateur. Paris, La Découverte, 2009;  Abílio, L.C.Sem maquiagem: o trabalho de um milhão de revendedoras de cosméticos. São Paulo : Boitempo, 2014;  Abilio, L. C. Labour make up: A case study of 800,000 cosmetics resellers. Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation (Print). , v.5, p.96 – 110, 2011.


[v]… ;…





[x] Evaluating the cost-benefit, hundreds of Uber drivers concluded that the costs of using the car, among others, are greater than carrying out short rides. One of the ways the drivers found to overcome this was to get longer journeys from Guarulhos, the international airport. This decision translated into the formation of parking areas, in which massive queues form while drivers wait for the next job. The driver can spend hours (12 hours, according to the news) waiting for a job from the airport – which he must accept, even though the destination and pay are unknown to him. Drivers spend the day playing cards and dominos, while around them there is a network of informal workers supplying food, beverages and portable toilets.

[xi] In the research carried out with the motorycle couriers, it was clear that the majority of interviewees have a workday of 14 hours or more, amidst the São Paulo traffic.

[xii] HARVEY, D.The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.  Bernardo, J.Democracia totalitária: teoria e prática da empresa soberana. São Paulo: Cortez, 2004.


[xiv] In 2009, under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government, regulation on the motorcycle courier and motorcycle taxi professions was introduced. The municipal governments took charge of local regulations. In São Paulo, the regulation was the subject of diverse demonstrations in which hundreds of motorcycle couriers blocked main roads/routes in the city with their motorbikes. The regulation involves a series of costs for themotoboys. Up until now, despite being implemented in the city of São Paulo, it is not subject to fiscal control, thus remains optional for the worker. Motorcycle courierapp-companies only register professionally registered professionals. For these companies, the regulation is extremely propitious, as it certifies the self-employed worker, and operates as a type of bureaucratisation in relation to trust which is imperative for the consumer to contract the service. Thus,motoboys that work with apps are MEI-motorcycle couriers.


[xvi] Howe, Jeff.Crowdsourcing: How the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. Nova York, Rondon House, 2008.

[xvii] Telles, V. Mutações do trabalho e experiência urbana.Tempo social, n.18, v.1, 2006, p. 173-95.

[xviii] CABANES, R.; GEORGES, I.; RIZEK, C. & TELLES, V (orgs.).Saídas de emergência: Ganhar/perder a vida na periferia de São Paulo. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2011; FELTRAN, G. O valor dos pobres.Cadernos CRH, Salvador, v.27, n.72, p. 495-512, Dez. 2014; TELLES, V. S.; CABANES, R. (Orgs.).Nas Tramas da Cidade – trajetórias urbanas e seus territórios. São Paulo: Associação Editorial Humanitas, 2006.

[xix] Oliveira, F. Passagem na neblina.In: Stédile, J. , Genoíno, J. (orgs.)Classes sociais em mudança e luta pelo socialismo. São Paulo: Perseu Abramo, 2000..KLEIN, N.No logo: taking aim at the brand bullies. Vintage Canada, 2000.