Tech Workers Are Organising – and Asking What Technology Is Actually For
Unionisation and other forms of organisation are addressing both working conditions and bigger questions.
Much has been made of the technology industry’s moral awakening over the last two years, given the outsize influence it has on world affairs and our daily lives. It has been accompanied, and to some extent driven, by the growth of a workers movement in the technology industry, one that asks what technology should be used for.
Workers at tech giants including Facebook, Google and Microsoft have created petitions, walked out and held demonstrations over the policies and priorities that they found unconscionable. Those issues range from Amazon selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement, to Google collaborating with the Chinese government on a censored search engine. “There was a real sense of introspection from these workers about what they were building,” says Jamie Woodcock, who researches the gig economy and the intersection of labour and technology at the Oxford Internet Institute.