FIN REVIEW: Harsh light shone on gig economy in documentary

As it’s made the festival circuit run, The Gig Is Up has been surprising people. A selection and nominee at Hot Docs 2021, it is unabashed in its take on a job market that favours companies and not workers.

Amazon, Uber, Lyft and more are used by North Americans every day. But do we really know where the cost of our convenience is being made up by corporations? Some might be surprised to realize it’s the workers who suffer.

Writer-director Shannon Walsh manages to get gig workers to give no-holds-barred interviews, and they can be pretty scathing.

As workers in Nigeria, California, France and Florida have their lives chronicled, it soon becomes clear labour laws, protections and even standard wages aren’t in the cards for these people.

For example, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has people doing surveys for pennies on the dollar, and to make any sort of living driving for Uber or Deliveroo can be a never-ending battle.

The Gig Is Up is a difficult take on some of the things we as consumers have started taking for granted. These things can still exist, and truly should.

But it’s high time that corporations be held accountable to treat those who deliver our food, bring us our packages and make our lives easier in so many ways.

4/5 Stars

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