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  • Writer's pictureChristina J. Colclough

Future Digital Labour Markets

Honoured to have been asked to write an article for the Danish Insurance Sector Union's member magazine. Featured in a special section on the Future of Jobs.


The article in Danish (available here) discusses how all of our actions - and importantly all of our non-actions - are extracted as data, churned and analysed. These inferences (profiles) are then sold to whoever wishes to target us with particular goods or services. But that's not it: The inferences and the complex probability analyses can affect our life and career chances too.

How should unions respond?

Unions in their quest to ensure diverse and inclusive labour markets, must capacity build and create the institutiuons and structures so they can negotiate the Data Life Cycle at Work and be strong partners in the co-goverance of algorithmic systems.

We risk that you will not see a job advertisement as an algorithm has determined that you are not suitable for the job. Or, a person like you, from the same postcode, with the same health characteristics, socio-ecoonomic background and say education won't get promoted as it turned out you were not so much a people person?

Its not just about you

What we need to realise is, that as bad as it is that these inferences can influence our own lives, they can influence persons similar to us - or the opposite, those who are least similar to us. If you are a great worker, productive, acheiving above targets, will a company using an automated hiring system ever dare - or even get the chance - to hire someone your opposite?

We need to ask these tough questions. Unions need a response - urgently. As the guardians of decent work, or what I term Rewarding Work, they are the only ones who can fight for the missing rights, and the lacking co-governance!

  • Read more on workers' data rights here

  • And on a model for co-governance of algorithmic systems here

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