Good news for people who dislike the gig economy: Uber last week failed to overturn a UK legal ruling that it should treat drivers as "workers" rather than independent contractors without any employment rights. Cue jubilation from trade unionists, who say companies such as Uber create dire working conditions while eschewing any responsibility for them. But critics will miss an important lesson if they do not ask themselves why millions of people choose to work in the gig economy at all. It is true that, for some people, gig work is a last resort. Others have found themselves locked in by financial commitments such as car leases. But it is plain wrong, not to mention patronising, to assert that everyone who works in the gig economy is either desperate or a dupe. In my experience, gig workers are under no illusions about the downsides. But many want the flexibility over their working hours that the likes of Uber offer, and they have sacrificed employment rights in order to achieve it....

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