Rail union RMT has demanded the withdrawal of an app that they say Mitie is attempting to force on staff that tracks their movements
RMT has condemned the app as the introduction of ‘Big Brother’ into the workplace and is taking legal advice while demanding its withdrawal to allow for discussions with the union.
Mitie has introduced the app and a requirement for staff to download it to their own personal phone.
RMT claims the app appears to track the location of members, for example: If a member of staff is ‘pinned’ on to a security shift and the location does not match the location the company considers correct, the staff member will be prompted to call the control room.
This is similar for those on a cleaning shift, if the location does not match what Mitie consider as correct, then the staff member will be required to take a ‘live photo’ of themselves at the location, clearly displaying the site building/logo in the background and send it immediately to management.
Mitie has proposed to use the app for the following:
- Booking on to a shift
- Complete check calls at regular intervals during shifts
- Request holiday
- See a summary of the shift attended
- Leave notes for managers
- See upcoming shifts.
Serious concerns over privacy
RMT general secretary, Mick Cash said: “The issues with this application are extensive and it is truly shocking that the company have proposed this idea without any discussions.
“The union has some serious concerns over privacy with the tracking facilities and the downloading of the app to personal property.
“The app will clearly have an impact on peoples work-life balance and will cause unnecessary stress at work.
“RMT’s national executive committee has considered this matter and has instructed me to seek legal advice on the attempt to bulldoze this threat to workers personal and civil liberties through without any discussion with the union whatsoever.”
A spokesperson at Mitie said: “We’re committed to improving the working lives of our colleagues by using the latest technology.
“This includes developing solutions, such as our workplace app, to make processes, such as booking and managing shifts, faster and easier for our employees. While also allowing us to share crucial information and ensure the personal safety of our colleagues – particularly those working alone or at remote locations.
“All our technology systems meet the highest data privacy standards to protect our employees’ personal information.”