Opposing the Municipal Corporation’s usage of GPS wrist watches to track real-time movement of employees, the employees urged the MC commissioner on Monday, that the GPS wristwatch project be scrapped as it would be a “mounted tension on their wrists” and would make them feel like “bonded labour”. However, in reply, commissioner KK Yadav said, the demand was “not acceptable” and he would be the first person to wear the GPS watch.
Through the GPS wrist watches, the real time movement of the employees will be tracked during their duty hours and accordingly, their salaries will be deducted if their GPS do not show eight hours of duty.
The letter written by convener of the coordination committee of the government MC employees said, “I have been directed to address your good self to reconsider and scrap the move of mandating GPS-enabled watches for the MC employees, as the move will create an impact of great resentment and agony among the MC staff. Sir, they are performing their duties with deep sense of diligence, dedication and devotion. They shall feel like bonded labour with these watches. The move to mandate wearing these wrist watches will give rise to suspicion in their minds about being looked at as non-performing workers.”
The letter further said, “Their work can suffer with this mounted tension on their wrists. Sir, this type of technology is neither successful nor used for any government employees in the history of Chandigarh and they all fear that this will be the sheer wastage of tax payers’ valued money.” The coordination committee also specified that biometric system is there for attendance and centralised online complaint booking and redressal system was already monitoring the duty hours of the employees.
“Performance and accountability of an employee can be easily judged through the existing systems. Under the teeth of these circumstances, pray your goodself sitting in the helm of affairs of the Municipal Corporation, to reconsider the proposed action of GPS enabled watches for scrapping and assuring your goodself that this will certainly develop a healthy relation between employer and employee with better services to the residents of Chandigarh,” the letter said.
However, speaking on the issue, commissioner Yadav told Chandigarh Newsline, “I told the employees that their demand was not acceptable. I will be the first one to wear the GPS watch. If I sit in the office and do my duty for the said time, I should not have a problem with it.”
In an order in August, the commissioner said, “Agenda regarding the purchase of GPS tracking watches was passed by the general house of the MC on September 14, 2018, but till date the agreement for these watches have not been finalised. It is ordered that the purchase of the watches should be completed at the earliest possible.” The commissioner said, the decision about the purchase of the watches would be finalised on September 5.