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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #257 (Jan) - Work: a new operating uberiasation era (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:05:48 +0200

Offshore engineers of major Internet companies to small hands paid by the piece, the digital world offers new opportunities for the capitalists to make money on the backs of workers by circumventing the laws of wage earners of protection force in the territories. ---- Have you ever wondered how Internet platforms offering primarily produced content by users (Facebook, YouTube, for example) were doing so ever, in your newsfeed or between two cat videos, no one strays Porn spectacular photo or appeal to racial hatred? Naturally, you will say: robots, algorithms. ---- In reality, there are no sufficiently effective algorithms to really filter out Internet sewers; what you see and read previously purged by men and women, and even probably a woman, Filipino student but not a lot of ways. Behind a smooth interface and impersonal, this is actually a world of precarious workers that wear out with mindless tasks. If these are increasingly outsourced to the Philippines is that they are so violent and psychologically meaningless than American or European workers are lacking in a few months enough to plunge them into depression or burn -out: This is to spend his days in front of a wire image, text, video, scrolling - which is reminiscent of the work in chains of big industry - yarn consisting essentially of racist insults , pornography, sometimes pedophile, bestiality, murder, bloody car accidents, etc. [1]

data entry and farms clicks

These small invisible hands support a growing share of internal work to companies in the Internet sector, as in others. The relocation of scannable activities (called e-outsourcing) has become massive since the 2000s, and it particularly affects the creation of content, including R & D, software development, data capture, logistics management or HR , finance, sales, consumer services (consulting, service, etc.), and various absurd services performed in "farms clicks" (the clickfarms), such as sales likes or followers to artificially boost the popularity Apparent content; So what will the most skilled trades to the most menial tasks, which are also mostly performed by women.

All this represents a market of around 100 to 400 billion per year, according to the definition that is given of digital offshoring. It is first in India, offering very skilled low-cost English-speaking engineers who saw the practice grow and Barbados and the Philippines for low value-added services. Then came Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, and finally, in the 2010s, China and Vietnam for Japanese companies, most recently in Eastern Europe for North American and European investment.

Capitalists quickly seized the opportunity offered by digital networks to free the capital of the space and build a global competition more fluid than before. From 2002-2003 appeared giants offer remote services to companies (such as Accenture, EDS and Siemens Business Services), each comprising internally a global division of labor. It becomes possible for all these firms and their clients to compete in near real time, of workers around the world, easily bypassing the overly protective regulations, too high wages, or who organize resistance.

On the ground, it gives wage earners sometimes operated es night to match the time of day in the US or Europe and the often precarious jobs, wages generally higher than the country average in question, although competition tends to equalize. But again, one remains under conventional business relations, with what looks like a contract, a hierarchy, and a workplace. Silicon Valley has found how to push operations further, by providing up to date daily self-employed es paid by the piece.

The capitalist economy of peer to peer is first what is meant by "uberisation economy": a company has an army of workers and customers are connected-and puts its platform and its algorithms at their service to offer each customer the worker that suits him in the neighborhood, to do a job by touching a good commission by the way, that goes without saying.

In France, we do not really know that Uber, the rental fans taxi service. In the US, however, in addition to transportation (Uber, Lyft), it was extended to parcel delivery (Postmates), food baskets (Instacart) to housework (Homejoy), and even at all and n 'anything (TaskRabbit). It works alone-e to the customer without visible employer or group to help hold out or think about his situation, and even compete with each other together; there are also works without it being truly recognized as work, so without protection or contributions.

freelance and microtasking

However, the worst concentrating operations without rest and absolutely total alienation of the activity, it is the digital work platforms and freelance microtasking: Amazon Mechanical Turk (see box), Upwork (formerly Elance and Odesk ) People Per Hour, Crowdflower, etc. Everything is done on a computer with no human contact, every second a flood of job offers fall, which can be tasks requiring little time and skill (draw something, Laying out a poster design a small website , translate text or transcribe a conference), or on the contrary be absolutely absurd, fragmented and repetitive each relating tenths cents (eg copy of receipts, answer questionnaires, identify cats pictures among many others images, etc.).

These freelance workers or even microtasking platforms are taking off: if they now weigh only $ 2 billion in revenue - and although we only speak income platforms that act as intermediaries, without considering the profit captured by micro-employers - they are expected to reach 5 billion in a year, and 20 billion by 2020 [2].

If the mass of these precarious workers keeps pace, it would rise from 5 million today to 50 million in five years. The great promises contained by technical progress fizzled. The end of work is not in the agenda, and we see the contrary nightmares take form with the capitalists of the nineteenth century did not dare dream: vast global labor markets, offering masses of proletarians dispersed es worldwide, sometimes isolated-es and without a contract, each competing with everyone, and assigned to es-numbing chores.

Obviously, this is not the technology itself that is to throw, but the type of applications which it embodies; and if the ideology that accompanies it boasts both the libertarian dimension of digital technologies, it is also that one can imagine to serve an organization of the economy and society more horizontal, less dependent on coordinating power of the central state. It will not happen without a struggle.

Marco (AL Paris-Northeast)

[1] "The workers that spread the pictures of cocks and beheadings your Facebook wire," Wired, 2014

http: //www.wired.com/2014/10/conten ...

[2] Report of the World Bank "Global Opportunities in Online Outsourcing" in June 2015.

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