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That old punitive impulse May 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It’s the public sector. It’s so often the public sector. And what is there in relation to it?

The Government is seeking major new productivity concessions from staff in the public service as part of a new pay deal for State employees.
At talks with unions on Monday it is understood that public service management proposed looking at “outsourcing” or external provision of services.

Then there’s this:

Sources said management also indicated it wanted to examine Saturday working and connected premium payments with a view to making Saturday a standard working day.

And:

As part of reforms of attendance patterns, clock-in arranagements would be based on bio-metrics such as fingerprinting and iris scans.

There’s more. But taking just two of the above, what on earth do iris scans have to do with ‘reforms’? What is the point? Working in the private sector for multinational corporations both here and in the UK I never experienced that sort of oversight. Why would I? What purpose would it serve?

And then there’s ‘Saturday working’. I don’t think it unreasonable that Saturday working should attract a premium – particularly given this is a substantial change in work practices. There’s a different argument as to how much utility this has outside certain areas but that’s another discussion entirely.

But looking at all this – and granted these are opening positions, there’s an underlying sense of attempting to make matters more difficult, more constrained for workers. The unions have to push back against that. And union members if their unions won’t.

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1. GW - May 24, 2017

But taking just two of the above, what on earth do iris scans have to do with ‘reforms’? What is the point? Working in the private sector for multinational corporations both here and in the UK I never experienced that sort of oversight. Why would I? What purpose would it serve?

Hey, get with the global panopticon programme, man.

Purpose: Stop cheating workers signing in for their mates. And there’s nice little earners in the surveillance apparatus.

Down with the 8 hour day! And the 5 day work week! Back to the nineteenth century! With universal surveillance thrown in.

Technical pedants might argue that both fingerprints and iris scans are easy to fake. But that’s beside the point – its techno-theatre and progress, y’all.

And did I mention a nice little earner for friends of journos?

Fun 1 minute video:

https://media.ccc.de/v/biometrie-s8-iris-en

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2. Ed - May 24, 2017

F**king iris scans. You can just picture the brains behind that getting a little tumescent at the thought of it. The first draft may have contained a proposal for random strip-searches to make sure people weren’t making off with office stationary.

I read an article a while ago about companies that had computerized monitoring of desk-bound workers to make sure they were actively typing and not surfing the web during office hours. As you might expect, their staff were less productive than the ones who didn’t have this electronic overseer lurking over their shoulder at every moment. But it’s not really about that, is it? Anyone who works in the public sector will tell you that the constant form-filling that’s meant to demonstrate how much work they’re doing prevents them from actually doing the work. Doesn’t matter.

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