Workplace automation and surveillance: submission on the future of work
RTBU NSW has advised an upper house inquiry automation of government work should not take place unless there is tangible benefit to the public and rejected the use of workplace surveillance without a legitimate safety purpose.
In a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on the impact of technological change on the future of work and workers in New South Wales, RTBU outlined the troubling developments in the use of technology, data and surveillance across the NSW transport network including the New InterCity Fleet, the Sydney Metro and automated bus trials in Homebush and Newcastle.
The NSW Government has been steadily introducing more automation across public transport through the guardless NIF and driverless Metro trains in a direct attempt to shed jobs. This will leave commuters without the safety and customer service support that only our members can provide.
Equally troubling is the increase in workplace surveillance, with new in-cab cameras in the NIF designed to monitor not the platform, but the driver at all times, with no discernible purpose other than to constantly scrutinise our members.
Finally, the union highlighted the outrageous and unacceptable avoidance of consultation with workers on workplace changes and their consequences. This has been most evident with the NIF through the creation of many different entities responsible for the testing, validation and operation of the trains.
It is crucial that workers and their unions have a seat at the table as technology changes workplaces to ensure our rights are protected and employer obligations are reflective of the impact on employees.