Phela Townsend Writes Piece on Why Labor Must Prioritize Gig Workers' Data Rights – Next100
Commentary   Economic Opportunity

Phela Townsend Writes Piece on Why Labor Must Prioritize Gig Workers’ Data Rights

Employers use their proprietary data and technological tools to control the rules and shape narratives that often distort reality and manipulate the public and policymakers.

Next100 policy entrepreneur Phela Townsend wrote a piece for Truthout arguing that the labor movement should include the protection of workers’ data rights as part of its broader fight, and she asks whether California’s Proposition 22, which prevented the classification of app-based drivers as employees under California labor law, would have passed if workers had had access to their workplace data. Phela writes:

“Data is like sunlight on employers’ wider patterns of technology use: without it, workers have little recourse to effectively address workplace concerns or combat violations of labor law.” 

Read the full piece, “Gig Workers’ Data Rights Should Be Prioritized in Labor’s Next Fight.”

About the Author

Portrait of Phela Townsend, she has a very curly bob and a grey blazer.
Phela Townsend Economic Opportunity

Phela Townsend is scholar-activist on a mission to transform how we think about—and value—labor and work in our society. At Next100, her work examines how today’s workers and labor organizations are using digital tools to rebuild worker power in the twenty-first century. Phela is also a PhD candidate at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.

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