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Office Workstations in the Home (1985)

Chapter: Appendix C: AFL-CIO Resolution on Computer Homework

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: AFL-CIO Resolution on Computer Homework." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Page 152
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: AFL-CIO Resolution on Computer Homework." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Page 153
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: AFL-CIO Resolution on Computer Homework." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Page 154

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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.

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Telecommuting—people working at home with computers connected to offices many miles away—could reshape the way America works. What are the effects of this phenomenon on workers, managers, and labor unions? What is the technology behind this arrangement? What are the legal implications surrounding telecommuting? In this volume, these issues are addressed by experts in computer applications and information systems, business and industry, training and operations, corporate forecasting and analysis, law, organizational behavior, and labor. Case studies of several actual telecommuting systems are presented.

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