A reckoning for the gig economy: Why Amazon and Uber are facing new scrutiny over contract workers

Amazon announced its Delivery Service Partner network of independent package companies at an event last year in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

From package delivery to ride-hailing, companies including Amazon and Uber are facing new scrutiny over their use of contract workers to power the services they provide to consumers.

California is poised to enact a law that would force Uber and Lyft to treat drivers like employees as part of a broader push around the country to ensure app-based workers have broader labor protections. Meanwhile, three U.S. Senators are demanding answers from Amazon about its network of contractors and independent delivery companies that get packages to customers’ doors.

We discuss the implications of these developments, and what’s next, on this new episode of the GeekWire Podcast.

Plus, a Seattle startup is aiming to upend the smartphone market with a high-quality, low-priced alternative designed to be used for twice as many years as many people use their existing phones. The inside story of Taylor Swift’s beef with Microsoft’s chatbot. And we do our best to help Alexa come up with some answers to difficult questions.

Listen to the show above, or subscribe in your favorite podcast app.

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