Workertech newsletter: August 2021

The latest update from Resolution Ventures



In the run up to our TUC Fringe event on the future of technology and worker power on 14 September, this edition will put a spotlight on some innovations in the world of digital organising.

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Emma Selinger
Ventures Manager

📣 TUC Fringe Event: Can tech help boost worker power?📣

The Resolution Foundation is bringing together key union voices to discuss the promise, as well as the pitfalls, of using technology to boost worker power. What potential is there for unions to develop tech-based approaches? What are the challenges and limitations?

Register for the event


David Arnold – Head of Policy, UNISON
Andrew Pakes – Director of Communications and Research, Prospect Union
Louise Marston – Director of Ventures, the Resolution Foundation
Chaired by: Gavin Kelly – Resolution Foundation

For many workers the rise of tech has resulted in greater insecurity, increased managerial control and more stressful working conditions. But tech can also be deployed to help boost worker power, increase choices and improve information.

As the Resolution Ventures event at the TUC will explore, a range of unions are increasingly active in this space. In addition, a number of ventures are experimenting with new routes to supporting worker power, including:

  • Organise – a UK-based worker network where anyone can start a campaign for free; providing members with the tools, support and confidence needed to raise their collective voices and improve everyone’s working lives.
  • Unit – a New York based venture giving workers practical steps to help them unionise and take collective action against unfair employment practices.
  • WeClock – a privacy-preserving app for workers and unions to help track hours worked, and other aspects of the job that might go unreported. WeClock is a free and open-source tool.
  • Co-worker – a US-based peer-based platform designed to support workers of all kinds to spark true change in the workplace. Organisers back workers and groups alike by offering education and training, strategic support, research, data analysis, and a range of advocacy tools.
  • SpendRise – a platform harnessing consumers’ collective purchasing power to campaign for improved worker rights at big name brands and small business alike.
  • Right to Disconnect – Prospect Union has been campaigning for a right to disconnect for those working from home, as well as providing guidance on data rights and monitoring at work.

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

  • Levelling up and down Britain – an analysis of how labour market recovery varies across the UK. Although employee numbers are back to pre-pandemic form in many parts of the country, in some regions (most notably, London) the jobs recovery has a long way to go.
  • Football went to Rome, holidays came home – exploring the impact of the ‘staycation’ boom on the UK’s labour market.

Get involved

Join the Workertech meetup group, a network of people working in the sector. In the autumn we’ll be hosting a series of events for this group investigating technology and a fairer world of work.

Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from Workertech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation.

Founders from Bethnal Green Ventures Spring ’21 Tech for Good Accelerator will be pitching at their online showcase at 4pm on 7 September. Look out for Workertech ventures TaskHer and Curo Carers.

Ethical food delivery co-op, Wings, are open for business in north London. They provide delivery from local independent restaurants, while offering riders a stake in the co-op and the London Living Wage even for waiting times.