Researchers involved: Will Stronge, Julian Siravo
Length: 12 months
The Control of Workers: what is the present and future of technological tracking, evaluating and speed up in the modern British workplace? How do each of these functions get actualised, who controls them and what concrete effects do they have on workers?
We start with the working hypothesis that workplace technologies today involve the practices of tracking, evaluating or increasing (either speed or output). But how do each of these practices get embodied, who controls them and what concrete effects do they have on workers? This research will include work on data and intensification. How does the use of data changing the nature of workplace control, monitoring and then performance modification? We particularly want to explore the danger of technological ‘lock-in’, whereby forms of intensification effectively become (seemingly) immovable pieces of the industrial landscape.
Worker control: What does worker control of technology – so often discussed, but rarely detailed – actually mean in practice? We will articulate both what control over the introduction of tech means and what the ongoing decision-making on the part of workers might look like. What international and historical examples can we draw on to develop viable policy, demands and regulation that increases the say that workers have over the deployment and use of technology in their working lives? Can data be resource for resistance as much as it is currently used for employer control?
Funded by: the Communication Workers Union (CWU)