Technology giants spy on staff to prevent unionising, report says

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jan 03, 2022, 04:24 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Reuters )

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Employee surveillance has increased dramatically in recent years. According to a study conducted by Gartner, 60 per cent of large firms utilise monitoring technologies, which is twice as many as before the coronavirus outbreak. 

As per a report by Newsweek and Capital & Main, which cited leaked internal documents, Amazon, Google, Walmart, and other corporate behemoths have been spying on their employees to prevent them from unionising.

According to Newsweek, the most well-known examples of businesses using surveillance technologies on employees include Amazon and Walmart.

Whole Foods Market, owned by Amazon, employs heat maps to track store locations with a high likelihood of union action.

According to Newsweek, which cited the twice-weekly Human Resources journal, HR Brew, Walmart has tools to monitor an employee's activities and chats regarding activism, while Google has a system that warns management about internal meetings attended by 100 or more employees. 

Companies frequently use underhanded tactics, according to Ricardo Hidalgo, an international organiser with the Teamsters who has helped unionise machinists and sanitation workers, by installing an informer among the group of employees who try to unionise.

This is done to keep track of conversations and pit staff members against one another.

Experts point to employment regulations, the majority of which were enacted in the first part of the twentieth century, emphasising that while the legislation has remained the same, technology has evolved and continues to improve, making it easier for employers to keep track of their employees.

In some circumstances, companies can acquire commercially available tools rather than invent their own gadgets to spy on employees. 

Employee surveillance has increased dramatically in recent years.

According to a study conducted by Gartner, 60 per cent of large firms utilise monitoring technologies, which is twice as many as before the coronavirus outbreak. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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