What would happen if low-wage workers came together to cut out the middleman and build their own platforms? This isn’t just a thought experiment. Worker-owned apps are already providing real alternatives to dismal working conditions in the global gig economy.
Up & Go is a home cleaning app owned by workers in New York City. “On other apps, the owners set your wages, but we set our own wages,” said worker-owner Esmeralda Flores.
Up & Go cleaners earn $25 per hour, more than double what workers typically earned independently, according to Project Manager Sylvia Morse. While apps generally take a cut of 20 percent or more, Up & Go only takes 5 percent, which it then reinvests in the platform.