The Gig Economy is a Double-Edged Sword for Migrant Workers
By Luiza Bandeira
Jusmely Vasquez checks her phone. She can take 10 minutes for a quick interview, she says, before her next delivery. Vasquez is a bicycle courier for Rappi, the Colombian delivery app that has taken the region by storm.
Vasquez, a 24-year-old mechanical technician and musician who moved to Colombia two years ago, comes equipped with Rappi’s standard-issue orange backpack. Her sweatshirt, saying “Made in Venezuela” on its logo, is not part of her uniform, but it might as well be. In Bogota, it’s widely assumed that most Rappi workers are Venezuelans fleeing hunger and poverty across the border.
Last year Rappi achieved unicorn status, a moniker given to tech start-ups valued at over $1bn. It’s a major achievement for a company that was only launched, by three Colombian entrepreneurs, in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Jan Truter.