Google employees have staged a mass strike over sexual harassment. This obviously fits into a tradition of labour disputes and is a conflict over contemporary mores.

However, the article does mention that 'deep issues' are at work here without going into specifics.

My interest in the era of the internet is with surveillance technology. It's uses, misuses and abuses. Given the direct complicity of tech companies in building the infra-structure of surveillance, I'm curious as to whether there is a history of labour disputes with management over this?

There's no tag [history-of-surveillance] otherwise I would have listed this under it.

closed as off-topic by JonathanReez, Jos, Brasidas, KillingTime, José Carlos Santos Mar 23 at 9:48

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  • 1
    Given the lack of proletarianisation and deprofessionalisation in core system development until the 2000s, most labour unrest in the industry been outside the firm. Consider the free software movement and crypto anarchism. One source is the Marxist journal “processed world,” from the west coast in the early 80s. Also consider the Jargon file / bofh – Samuel Russell Nov 11 '18 at 9:03
  • @Samuel Russell: Proletarian merely means he who lives by the use of his own labour. You're confusing the term with the lumpen-proletariat. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 11 '18 at 9:15
  • No I’m not. Professional work in computing was irreducible to “socially average necessary labour power” for a long, long time. – Samuel Russell Nov 11 '18 at 9:38
  • 2
    No, I mean irreducible. The lack of a generalised skill or knack meant that labour substitution was impossible. Consider for a moment the story of Mel (catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html). The proletariat is reducible to socially average necessary labour power. Until you have a sufficient basis to adulterate, mechanise or substitute for a particular "knack," people who merely perform this work for pay are not dependent upon selling their labour power—they're not labouring for a wage, they're exerting themselves for a stipend. They aren't controlled as property at work. – Samuel Russell Nov 11 '18 at 12:31
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    "Lack" of "Proletarianisation" of computer programmers prior to 1990. "Proletariat" is "reducible." "Professional computer programmers," were "irreducible." Do you have a problem with signs when coding? – Samuel Russell Nov 11 '18 at 12:45