Dispute continues over Australian Fuji-Xerox GPS plan

Dispute continues over Australian Fuji-Xerox GPS plan

Summary: The Australian Services Union is asking for assurances from printing and photocopying giant Fuji Xerox that it will not pull off a "Big Brother" act and use its global positioning system (GPS) units to track its employees.Photocopier repairers in several states have gone on strike or implemented work bans over a range of employment issues they have with Fuji-Xerox, including possible plans by the company to monitor their vehicles and notebooks using GPS technology.

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The Australian Services Union is asking for assurances from printing and photocopying giant Fuji Xerox that it will not pull off a "Big Brother" act and use its global positioning system (GPS) units to track its employees.

Photocopier repairers in several states have gone on strike or implemented work bans over a range of employment issues they have with Fuji-Xerox, including possible plans by the company to monitor their vehicles and notebooks using GPS technology.

Sally McManus, ASU executive president, said they have no problem with the use of GPS to track down stolen vehicles and technicians' laptops. However, she added that they only found out about the company's purpose for the GPS units after news was released to the media.

McManus said that the union's contention was over Fuji Xerox's refusal to agree to a clause included in the customer support enterprise agreement that the company would not use the GPS technology to track down employees.

"They never said to us that it's going to be used to track down stolen cars and laptops. We just want an enforceable guarantee that the technology will not be used on employees. We've been asking this in a clause in our work place agreement but they refused to agree to it," McManus told ZDNet Australia.

Fuji Xerox said it will not be imposing the GPS technology anytime soon but remains that it wants to be able to use the technology in the future.

McManus replied that it doesn't matter when the company plans to implement the technology, the union still wants to ensure they are protected.

"They said they have no plans to impose it anytime soon, but it doesn't matter if its now or in the future, we still want to be assured of protection from being monitored every single moment of the day," McManus said.

Fuji Xerox Australia said in the minutes of a management meeting on September 9 that "The intent is not to limit FXA to outdated technologies. FXA will look at appropriate wording to be included in the customer support organisation enterprise agreement 2004."

According to McManus, out of the 140 workers in NSW there are only 9 left working at Fuji Xerox while others are on "indefinite strike". Fuji Xerox technicians in Victoria and Canberra are planning to follow the NSW chapter with their own strike Tuesday next week. Adelaide started yesterday while Perth returned to work today. Brisbane, on the other hand, has implemented "work bans" doing only what is placed in their job description.

McManus said each state has had their own separate meetings, but have the same demands nationally.

"This will definitely have a big impact on Fuji Xerox and hopefully they will reconsider, she said.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, IT Employment

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