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THE 2020 FESTIVAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
DIGITAL-FIRST EVENT 7-15 NOV 2020
FoSS and ESRC logos

Teching 9-5: New Technology and Unions

09th November 2020 13:00:00
Workshop, Politically sensitive

About this event

Technology has changed the way in which we work, including the capacity for workplace surveillance and monitoring. The speed of this change means that in many instances employees are unsure what data is collected about them, how it is used or their rights. This leads to questions about the ability of workers to resist unfair practices, and to organise in their workplace. Across Europe and South America, New Technology Agreements have been used to acknowledge the concerns of trade unionists about the use of digital technology, and to participate in discussions about policy direction in their workplace. In Europe, the GDPR also provides the basis for employees to be involved in decisions around data processing. The UK has been slow to adopt such approaches, and whilst concerns have been expressed about the capacity of technology to enable monitoring in the workplace, trade unions are slow to organise around the issue. This workshop is a space for academics and activists to work together to identify the concerns, discuss solutions, and to reflect upon their own experiences. The event proposed is a digital workshop hosted by representatives from academia and from the trade union movement. It will take the form of a workshop, with break-out spaces for group discussion and reflection. The proposed format consists of an introductory session that explains the concept of new technology at work and existing data rights framework, followed by a breakout session in which groups will reflect upon their own experiences of surveillance in the workplace, and their concerns around it. The rest of the session will consist of presentations and group discussions surrounding potential responses to these concerns, and ideas for organising around this issue.