New LabourLeaks Website: Exposing Wrongdoing in the Workplace

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There is an independent and anonymous project being launched at the moment called Labourleaks.org and it is calling for contributions from workers, labour, social justice and free knowledge activists alike. These contributions would be given anonymously and securely to protect contributors privacy, using GPG or a similar software.

The site can be viewed here: LabourLeaks.org

The following is taken from the site and outlines the idea behind it:

OK. You know about press leaks: they are as old as the press. You know about the famous/notorious online Wikileaks, this is only seven years old and is one part of the subversive/emancipatory capacity of the web. There are increasing numbers of such leaks, produced by particular groups for particular purposes, for different kinds of public.

Well, we are labour activists, long active both on the shopfloor and online. And we have ourselves had bad experience with company secrecy and ‘managerial prerogatives’: some of us have been disciplined or sacked for exposing information that is essential for ourselves or our fellow workers.

This is why we have created labourleaks.org/.

You may know – as you may have personally experienced – any worker, anyone casually employed, any unemployed person exposing wrongdoings in their workplace (private or public) runs the risk of employer or government reprisals. This is the case, whether one is reporting bullying, corruption, misuse of public subsidies or whatever.

Moreover, with the increasing movement from an industrial to a computerized capitalism, any previous practice or ideal of a balance of power between management and workers is being seriously eroded. Big Brother has always, of course, been denying us essential information, has been watching and controlling us. Computerisation enables Big Brother to do this in ever more sophisticated ways. Corporations, managers and the state agencies have multiple ways of keeping an eye on us.

Cyberspace, however – as Wikileaks has amply demonstrated – also represents a potent counter-power. Whilst they can both keep an eye on us and deny us access to vital information, we can turn the matter around.

And when we make information public, we have democracy on our side – the principle of transparency and public access to matters concerning that public (whether at the level of the workplace, the corporation, the state). We cannot trust any claims of those with power over our jobs, our health and safety, our continued employment, the environment we live in, our right to self-organisation and self expression. LabourLeaks is designed to provide the means for workers – be they full time, contracted, precarious, migrant, the unemployed, men and women, old and young, to make their grievances – and documentation or other evidence that supports this – public.

We further believe that trade unions, works councils, and other bodies that represent us, can only do so effectively in so far as they commit themselves to transparency vis-à-vis the workers represented and the general public, and in so far as their actions are open to public scrutiny. So the making public of how workers’ representatives themselves operate is another major concern for LabourLeaks.

If you have material you want to publicise on this site, send it to us at: submissions at labourleaks.org.

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