Burn Contract Burn: The Rise of Tech’s Contingent Workforce

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An event for vendor employees and contractors!

As the tech industry faces unprecedented growth, contracting is becoming the new normal. Companies like Google—where over half the employees are temps, vendors, and contractors—have felt the sting of workers who call contracting a de-facto caste system, defined by precarious working conditions, unequal treatment, and less job security. Tech companies hire contractors to clean offices, drive shuttles, write code, manage teams, do design work, etc. Contractors hired for tech positions often do the same work for wildly different compensation and benefits.

Tech companies claim the rise of contracting is a natural response to a changing workforce, but contracting is an old story of exploitation, whose origins start in our own backyard. What can we learn about the contracting business model and its consequences to workers? How do decades-old decisions lead to growing inequality and enormous tech industry profits? And what can workers do to fight back?