Cameras, Cameras, Everywhere

    Hey, What are You Doing with that Finger? The new DIAD has a built in camera. What’s that camera for? According to all the scuttlebutt the company is putting the camera in the DIAD for additional proof of delivery.
     It will allow the driver to photograph the actual delivery point in troublesome areas giving the company more ammunition in the fight over Non-Delivery claims. Of course, who used to go out to analyze deliveries when a claim was made? Supervisors.
     Again the new technology is about reducing management, not attacking drivers. Although I’m sure managers, and supervisors will attempt to use it to speed up drivers, the reality is, they will be looking for ways to justify their existence since technology will be used to replace them. It really makes the driver worth another plug nickel in my view.
     The latest fear besides the DIAD camera is the “In-Cab” camera. I have not been able to determine that there is an actual plan to install cameras in the cabs, but all of the drivers are convinced that it’s coming. Of course I have been hearing that kind of speculation for years, and have even had to investigate complaints from drivers that secret cameras have been put in trucks to spy on the drivers.
     Given todays technology, cameras are a real possibility. Why would the company want them in the cab? Well let’s see, do you pick your nose? Do you scratch your ass while driving?
      Really an in cab camera could be used to monitor cell phone usage, distracted driver situations, texting, etc. The company already has the driver wired to see if they are using seat belts, and if the bulkhead door is closed.  
     The third thing would be safety procedures such as “three points of contact”. Again monitoring that from afar would be the job of a supervisor that again would be in jeopardy of losing their job because of technology. Any low life can watch a monitor, so why pay supervisors a huge amount of money to watch drivers pick their noses.
     What should a driver do about cameras? The first thing would be to get informed on the protections provided in the contract regarding new technology and how it can be used in the disciplinary process. The next thing would be to talk to your steward and find out if your paranoia is actually based in fact, and not in fear. Also, get involved in the upcoming contract negotiations to be sure that your rights are addressed in the new contract.
     Finally, realize that technological changes in the company are less about disciplining drivers, than about getting rid of a top heavy, non-productive, expensive management system. Remember, managers produce nothing of profit to the company. That’s why every manager, or supervisor seems so desperate to survive.
     It’s all about the bottom line.