Etsy Helps Create Microbusiness Caucus, a Challenge to Labor Organizing

Congress now has a Microbusiness Caucus, but does it represent workers? I’d say “no”. It’s for Etsy and those other companies, first, and only secondarily for people who sell on Etsy, and, lastly, for all the workers involved in producing for the Etsy marketplace platform.

See: Etsy Instrumental in Launch of First Ever Microbusiness Caucus

Microbusiness operators are really workers who labor for a web application that operates an allegedly neutral marketplace. Etsy helped to create a caucus “for” microbusines “owners”, but, I have to wonder if this is just an end run against labor organizing.

There’s a law in Seattle that protects Uber and other workers who take collective action: The Case for Letting Uber Drivers Organize

The Teamsters and other unions have pushed to try and organize ride hailing app “microbusinesses”.

The web application companies have also been organizing.  Ebay, AirBNB, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and others all spend money on lobbying Congress. There’s even a nonprofit lobbying organization called Peers that serves this industry, advocating for the platforms, but not necessarily the users of the platforms.

This is not any different than the situation in any industry. You have industry associations that are only for the businesses. You have professional organizations that include both the big businesses, and the small businesses, and individuals.  Then, sometimes, you have labor unions and other worker organizations that represent the workers.






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