The second episode of the EcoMinassat podcast series draws attention to the under-documented experiences of platform workers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with a focus on the intersection of platform economy and socio-economic rights. In conversation with Sami Zoughaib and Wassim Maktabi, from the Policy Initiative, Lebanon, our host, Yosr Jouini, discusses the factors that lead workers in Lebanon to enter precarious platform work. They point out narratives of flexibility and entrepreneurship that drive vulnerable workers to platform work alongside larger socio-economic factors. They map out the landscape of social protections tied to more formalized work or poverty alleviation that such workers are de facto excluded from and the compounding of these vulnerabilities for foreign and refugee workers. The episode concludes with exploring policy reforms needed to offer protection to precariously employed platform workers.

Hosted by: Yosr Jouini

Acknowledgement: This podcast has been produced as part of IT for Change’s Big Tech & Society Media Fellowship 2022.


0:00: Introduction

1:22: Experiences and struggles of platform workers in MENA

2:58: Testimonies of striking workers

5:00: Workers’ demands and challenges

5:32: Introduction to Sami Zoughaib and Wassim Maktabi

5:49: Importance of platform work in the Lebanese economy

8:16: Necessity for gig work in Lebanon

9:47: Socio-economic rights of workers

10:35: Policy changes

15:33: Protection of platform workers