Feeds

Don't tag workers, urges union

'Dehumanising'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

The European Commission is being urged to outlaw electronic tagging in the workplace by companies that monitor their employees' every move.

The GMB union - which has some 700,000 members - wants Eurocrats to introduce legislation against the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS satellite-linked wearable computers to tag and track staff in the workplace.

Last month the GMB said that employers were "dehumanising" workers by making them slaves to computers.

Some RFID systems involve computers worn on the arm and are being used increasingly by warehouse workers who follow instructions from their onboard PC.

"The only role for the worker is to do as the computer order requires," said the GMB.

"These devices calculate how long it takes to go from one part of the warehouse to the other and what breaks the workers need and how long they need to go to the toilet.

"Any deviation from these times is not tolerated. In effect these devices to dispatch goods to supermarkets and shops have made workers the aid to the computer rather than the other way round. The only functions that the human do are the bits that have not yet been automated."

Speaking last month GMB Acting General Secretary Paul Kenny said the union was "no Luddite organisation". But he added that the union "would not stand idly by to see our members reduced to automatons".

"The use of this technology needs to be redesigned to be an aide to the worker rather than making the worker its slave," he said.

The union intends to lobby the EC to raise awareness and seek a change in the law. ®

Related stories

Industry and govt must converge on covergence
Drugs, phonecams, privacy and GPS tracking
Watching us through the Sorting Door
GPS tech to rein in UK's speeding motorists
Your fingerprints are everywhere
Germans plan biometric hooligan clampdown

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.