Kingston Council contractors in Melbourne are being accused of spying on their employees. This happened after having GPS devices installed to their vehicles that are used for waste collection and street-sweeping.
A representative for Kingston Council admitted on equipping their vehicles with monitoring devices, but only as a management tool. According to Michael Petit, they have been using it for eighteen months. Street-sweeping contractor K&S Waste, who has 50-vehicle fleet equipped with GPS devices denied they are using it to spy on their employees.
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The contractor’s representative said that the devices are only used to gather data so that they can provide better service to the taxpayers. It is essential that they know where their vehicles are in case of an accident or damage claim. The company is using a 2-way system.
But as far as Igor Grattan of Australian Services Union is concerned, the installation of GPS device is illegal. They insist that the action of the management is an invasion of their privacy as they didn’t agree to it.
For them, the use of GPS device is only for lazy management. They believe it is being used by the company to monitor their movements. They also refuse to recognize the health and safety benefits that the GPS device can provide. Waste management expert J.J. Richards who also works for Yarra Ranges, Maroondah, Whittlesea and Wyndham councils, is not also in favor of using GPS tracking system, but for a different reason.
According to him, despite its great benefits like tracking the current location of a vehicle — which are important in case there is a damage claim, it’s not worth the cost. He added that he doesn’t see the importance of GPS technology in garbage collection since it is so simple; if the contractor isn’t able to collect the garbage in one area, the council will receive a call, then the garbage truck will go back to that area and collect the trash.
But on the business side, installing GPS tracking device like Trackimo is a huge advantage for the company owners. They will know where their fleet are at all times, as a result they will also know if their vehicles are being used for other than its purpose which is actually a waste of company resources. Employees naturally see this as spying, but for company owners, it’s one way of managing their assets effectively.