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Appendix C AFLJ-CTO Resolution on Computer Homework WHEREAS, There is a growing trend among companies, especially in the insurance and financial industries, to have employees with computer terminals work at home instead of the office. By 1990, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer occupations will increase nearly three times as fast as the expected rate of growth for all occupations in the economy. Computer employment will grow by 70 percent in manufac- turing, 70 percent in wholesale and retail trade, and more than 100 per- cent in hospital, educational, and computer services fields. While most of the growth will be in the office computer occupations, many of these positions could be transferred into the home. WHEREAS, Homework has historically led to worker exploitation. In the early part of this century, jewelry manufacturers were abusing home- workers to such an extent that state and federal governments began to regulate them and banned homework in seven industries, including the jewelry industry. Unsafe working conditions and flagrant violations of minimum wage and overtime standards and child labor laws were preva- lent in these industries, and the potential for the same problems to arise in computer homework is tremendous. WHEREAS, The piecework nature of computer work increases the risk of employee exploitation. The worker is under constant surveillance by supervisors through the terminal, and it is a short step from evaluat- ing workers by output to paying them by output. Workers will undoubt- edly be ineligible for health and pension plans, and they will be isolated in their homes, making union organizing and other concerted activity diffi- cult. 152
APPENDIX C 153 WHEREAS, Leaving the home computer industry unregulated will have a devastating impact on the well-being, wages, hours, and working conditions of home workers. Moreover, enforcement of wage, hour, and safety standards in the home is absolutely impossible; therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the AFL-CIO calls for an early ban on computer homework by the Department of Labor as a measure of protection for those workers entering the market for the fastest-growing occupation in the United States. Adopted by the 15th Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO, Holly- wood, Florida, October 3-6, 1983.