Ikea's Stuff is Tough To Assemble, So It Bought a Startup To Do It For You

One of the most popular jobs on TaskRabbit, a service that lets you hire workers for quick gigs, is assembling Ikea furniture. So perhaps it's no surprise that the Swedish retail giant has acquired the startup for an undisclosed price. From a report: For now, TaskRabbit services -- where each worker sets their own rates but the company takes 20 percent -- are available in 40 American cities and in London. The majority of its American workers (or "taskers" as the company dubs them) do not receive any health or retirement benefits, as is typical in so-called "gig economy" jobs. While TaskRabbit itself has not been sued in federal court by any of its workers so far, other companies in the industry have been -- numerous labor cases filed against Uber were recently heard at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco. It seems unlikely that Swedish business culture will have any impact on TaskRabbit's workers, the overwhelming majority of whom are ad hoc contractors. Sweden, which generally lacks a similar "gig economy" environment, boasts universal public health care and housing and child care subsidies. Employees in Sweden are required to be provided a minimum of five weeks paid annual leave, and wages are typically set by annual collective bargaining. According to Ikea's statement, TaskRabbit will remain an independent company and will remain in San Francisco -- as such, its taskers aren't considered to be employees.

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