• Christina J. Colclough

WeClock feat. in Suddeutsche Zeitung

In an article in Suddeutsche Zeiting, one of Germany's leading newspaper, WeClock is featured:

Because new forms of employment also require new forms of observation of employment relationships, apps such as weclock.it give gig jobbers a kind of self-tracking tool that enables them to analyze how many hours are unpaid - an important concern for employees who paid per "gig", but often idling for hours waiting for orders.

Read the original article in German here, translation below.



Human as a drone

Future of work? The "gig economy" is more of a relapse in times before the welfare state. But now the precarious jobbers are taking matters into their own hands.


By Michael Moorstedt


What some neoliberal thought leaders still regard as the future of work is, in fact, a real shitty job. We are of course talking about the so-called gig economy. For example, at the Gorillas delivery service. In view of the billions valued by investors, one forgets centuries-old achievements of the welfare state such as labor law. The drama surrounding the question of whether the company's precarious employees are even allowed to elect a works council has been dragging on for more than a year. Just last week, the delivery service announced that it would take legal action against the works council again.


Labeled by smart spin doctors as a way to combine self-determination and gainful employment, gig work is in truth inherently inhuman. Because regardless of whether it is a delivery or driving service: In it, people become drones. The instructions are received from an algorithm on the smartphone. The software has authority and says who is used where and when. Right to have a say? Rather not.


In addition to the already poor working conditions, the main issue is the lack of accountability. Because without a human contact person, objection is pointless. Uber drivers have often wondered why the system does not take them into account. Anyone who does not meet their quota will be quietly downgraded and will no longer receive any orders. This is called "Shadowban" in modern language. Even the tips that some customers give before they sit back on the "Tatort" couch after delivery are often enough withheld by the company.


The gig workers defend themselves against the exploitation with their own tracking apps


The labor dispute in the 21st century is not only fought on the familiar fronts such as wage equity or self-determination. It also affects new battlefields such as big data analyzes. Because the rules according to which one is preferred or disregarded remain opaque. According to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, every single gig worker may obtain information about the data he has collected - but that does not help to establish a comprehensive set of rules that is applicable to all, which could ensure that platform workers have more insight .


In order to make the balance of power a bit more balanced, software developers have published numerous apps in recent months that are supposed to help collectively record working hours, detect wage theft, track underpaid payments, collect data and, last but not least, build solidarity and organize yourself.


Because new forms of employment also require new forms of observation of employment relationships, apps such as weclock.it give gig jobbers a kind of self-tracking tool that enables them to analyze how many hours are unpaid - an important concern for employees who paid per "gig", but often idling for hours waiting for orders.


Instead of relying only on the arbitrariness of the algorithms, these programs promise answers to essential questions: Which platform is the right one for me? Which working hours are the most lucrative? Or also: Is it even worth it? Other projects go a step further and try to build delivery platforms that are collectively owned by the workers themselves. So the spirit of history is turning a new lap. After pig capitalism comes communism.