Friday, August 7, 2015

Joseph is unclear

This is Joseph.

There was a lot of confusion on this post.  This was my lack of recent writing practice.  So the sequence was:

~2010: Truckers have flexibility and ~$50 K salary
Micro-monitoring is introduced to improve efficiency
~2015: Truckers have constant monitoring, no flexibility, and a $50K salary

It's also the case that any monitoring system will, because it is based on general rules, be incorrect for a lot of specific situations.  For example, sitting in a traffic jam instead of having a longer rest break and then driving later (because the breaks are timed). 

Now the reason for monitoring is mostly about increasing productivity (safety improvements are also a form of productivity increase).  Either the system improves profits or it doesn't.  If it doesn't improve profits enough to increase salaries then maybe it is a bad idea?  If it is possible to increase salaries with the higher efficiency, then why is it so hard to consider sharing the benefits of increased productivity?  In particular, why is reducing the training requirements of the workers the path to increased safety?

Mark pointed out that we are seeing the same thing with UPS drivers

Increasing productivity is good but so are working conditions.  If there are huge gains made from this type of monitoring (like one sees in a call center) then it only makes sense to share these with the workers, who will then be able to see the monitoring as a source of higher wages.  You can imagine the "make $60 K with monitoring" versus "make 50K without" being a great way to make people decide they are willing to put up with the hassle of being tracked by devices that can't always convey complete information. 

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