deliveroo rider gig economy
(Image: LaPresse/SIPA)

The fortunes of gig economy companies -- or what should more accurately be called the exploitation economy -- are going from bad to worse.

Yesterday, former Deliveroo rider Diego Franco, backed by the Transport Workers Union, won his unfair dismissal claim against the international company, with Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge explicitly stating that Franco had an employment relationship with Deliveroo, not that of a contractor, and referred to the company's "callous and perfunctory termination of his services".

The wave of regulatory pushback against the exploitation industry continues to build around the world. The Spanish government has recently imposed new rules requiring companies to convert "contractors" to employees, following a court ruling last year. In the United States a fortnight ago, Biden administration labor secretary Marty Walsh warned "in a lot of cases gig workers should be classified as employees", opening the way for the labor department to toughen up regulatory requirements for the likes of Uber, Lyft and DoorDash.