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Paying for free delivery: Dependent self-employment as a measure of precarity in parcel delivery

Paying for free delivery: Dependent self-employment as a measure of precarity in parcel delivery

Moore, Sian and Newsome, Kirsty (2018) Paying for free delivery: Dependent self-employment as a measure of precarity in parcel delivery. Work, Employment & Society, 32 (3). pp. 475-492. ISSN 0950-0170 (Print), 1469-8722 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018755664)

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Abstract

This article explores supply chain pressures in parcel delivery and how the drive to contain costs to ‘preserve value in motion’, including the costs of failed delivery, underpins contractual
differentiation. It focuses on owner-drivers and home couriers paid by delivery. It considers precarity through the lens of the labour process, while locating it within the supply chain, political economy and ‘instituted economic process’ that define it. Focus on the labour process shows how ‘self-employment’ is used to remove so-called ‘unproductive’ time from the remit of paid labour. Using Smith’s concept of double indeterminacy the article captures the dynamic relationship between those on standard and non-standard contracts and interdependency of effort power and mobility power. It exposes the apparent mobility and autonomy of dependent selfemployed drivers while suggesting that their presence, alongside the increased use of technology, reconfigures the work-effort bargain across contractual status.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: dualisation, logistics, precarity, self-employment, supply chains
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 12:00
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19460

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