Bringing Labour Markets Back in: Inclusionary and Exclusionary Solidarities in Platform Delivery Work in Italy and Belgium
Keywords:platform work, solidarity, labor market, Europe, symbolic boundaries
This research showcases the ways in which the labour market informs the formation of different types of solidarities among platform workers. Building on qualitative research that focuses on the delivery sector in Italy and Belgium, we demonstrate diversity in forms of solidarities built among platform workers. While in Italy, in- and out-group boundaries, particularly those based on language and ethnicity, are successfully crossed by platform workers resulting in what we describe as inclusionary solidarities, in Belgium, they remain rigid resulting in exclusionary solidarities. Our findings demonstrate that two distinct forms of solidarity are informed by the functioning of labour markets, which shape workers’ options for exit outside of the platform world and hence the degree of platform dependency. These processes contribute to the creation of variegated understandings of self and others at work and in the labour market at large that in turn inform the ways in which workers relate to one another and form solidarities.