SIR; A number of press articles have publicised a recent report, produced by Durham University on behalf of the GMB union, which says mobile computing devices operated in distribution warehouses using radio frequency networks, such as voice picking technology, are being used aggressively by managers to monitor workers’ movements, which is infringing their civil liberties. The union is considering lobbying the EC to legislate against it.
I would like to correct the inaccurate picture created in the media reports. The RF technology is not designed to track workers’ every move, but to record their actions and each operation that takes place in a bid to improve stock control and increase distribution efficiency.
There is no evidence to suggest that managers are misusing the technology, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that workers who use these devices achieve greater job satisfaction and increased productivity bonuses.