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Labour regulations and technology workforce environments


Dr. Tamaro J. Green

TJG News:

2021-02-08 11:35:20 viewed: 578


Unions are an increasingly popular topic of discussion in technology workforces.  Employees of larger technology companies have been collaborating to form unions.  Some sectors of the technology industry have also commenced to form unions such as ride-sharing and communication.  The influence of these unions on the policies, practices, and regulation of technology companies may have an impact in existing labour markets.  Labour unions may advocate for regulation that restricts the size of technology companies.  Posner, Weyl, and Naidu (2019) discuss a postulation of theory that explains that feudalism persevered in common law elements which allowed for employers to develop monopolies.  Posner et al. (2019)  also explain how unions pressured governments to develop laws that protected workers.   Unions in technology companies may be a formidable ally in developing efficient and effective regulations to protect technology workers.

The unions may be a product of what technology labour workers describe as mistreatment by technology companies.  Claims of harassment and mistreatment of workers by technology companies may be a driving factor to what has given rise to the demand for unions.  A rise in employment related class and collective action lawsuits across all labour markets may have also prompted the desire to form unions.  Maatman (2017) analyses decisions from class and collective action claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other related workplace federal statutes and predict growth in class and collective action litigation.

Motivation for unions may also be impacted by the practices of technology companies.  Technology companies have earned public scrutiny for a number of practices such as mishandling consumer data and consumer privacy.  Research that has involved the role of technology has also become more pervasive which stresses the limit of protection of human subjects in scientific research.  Pisani et al. (2016) challenge technology research such as device monitoring, even with consent, as a potential risk to the protection of human subjects.

The increasing complexity of labour markets may also peripherally push for unions.  Internationalization of labour markets and the growth of labour markets may persistently raise concerns for the need to regulate the emerging form of labour markets.  Kanat, Hong, and Raghu (2018) highlight the growth of online labour markets and compare their effectiveness in developed and under-developed countries.

Unions may be able to play the part of a liaison between not only workers and technology companies but can actively participate in the development of adequate legislation to protect workers.  The government may be able to partner with unions to effectively deliver worker protection services.  Collins and Gerlach (2019) showcase the rise of partnerships between governments and non-profit organizations in the delivery of services.

Unions may protect workers and support technology companies in producing corporate social responsibility.  Sonntag and Spiller (2018) study how moral concerns affect public perception of corporate social responsibility.  Protection of workers may be an effective way for technology companies to demonstrate to the public their commitment to corporate social responsibility.



Collins, T., & Gerlach, J. D. (2019). Bridging the gaps: Local government and nonprofit collaborations. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 5(2), 118-133.

Kanat, I., Hong, Y., & Raghu, T. (2018). Surviving in global online labor markets for IT services: a geo-economic analysis. Information Systems Research, 29(4), 893-909.

Maatman, G. (2017). Annual workplace class action litigation report: An overview of 2016 in workplace class action litigation. Labor Law Journal, 11-45.

Pisani, A. R., Wyman, P. A., Mohr, D. C., Perrino, T., Gallo, C., Villamar, J., . . . Brown, C. H. (2016). Human subjects protection and technology in prevention science: Selected opportunities and challenges. Prev Sci, 17(6), 765-778. doi:10.1007/s11121-016-0664-1

Posner, E. A., Weyl, G., & Naidu, S. (2019). Antitrust remedies for labor market power. Harvard Law Review, 132(2).

Sonntag, I. W., & Spiller, A. (2018). Measuring public concerns? Developing a moral concerns scale regarding non-product related process and production methods. Sustainability, 10(5). doi:10.3390/su10051375



Dr. Tamaro Green is a computer science researcher and the founder of TJG Web Services.  TJG Web Services, LLC is a consulting firm in the field of information technology.  Dr. Green writes on topics of privacy, security, and ethics in information technology and computer science.

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