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The future of work… July 26, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Good Planet Money podcast here on UPS and aspects of technology introduced to their delivery drivers. Let’s just say that it is – as one individual said, almost big brother-like, in terms of surveillance and the demands made. Delivery times are assessed down to the second, the way in which vehicles are driven likewise, even the positioning of pens in pockets, all are assessed and stream-lined.

It’s disturbing how pervasive and invasive this technology is. How it shapes workers so very specifically and constrains them. And how far from being a liberation it becomes a straight-jacket.

And yet, as the podcast noted, these are workers who have certain specific advantages. They are – first and foremost – in a union, all work practices are introduced or extended by agreement. Secondly the nature of their work means they cannot be outsourced abroad. Thirdly, as of yet, drones and suchlike cannot replace them.

Of course technology functions in different ways at different times. It doesn’t have to be this way, but the duality of their situation is thought-provoking.

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1. Aonrud ⚘ - July 29, 2016

On a tangentially related matter, an episode of the BBC’s The Forum recently on ‘defiance’ included a US employment lawyer. Interesting in places.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03zlbvc

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2. Joe - July 29, 2016

More tangents. I have a print copy of today’s (London) Times in front of me. Someone called Philip Collins has a column with the headline: “How May can win over working class voters – Lowering the school leaving age and boosting practical skills could restore hope to those left behind by globalisation”

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WorldbyStorm - July 29, 2016

Hmmmm.

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