and IG Metall host joint workshop


March 17, 2017

On March 19, German writing platform and IG Metall (the German Metalworkers’ Union) hosted a joint workshop in Dortmund. Workers, platform operators, and unionists discussed workers’ experiences and working conditions on the platform.

Herford-based acts as a marketplace for writing and is one of the signatories of the “2017 Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct“. The day-long workshop proceeded in roughly three phases. First, all participants introduced themselves. As most participants were workers on the platform, this included descriptions of workers’ previous careers, qualifications, and life situations, how they came to work on and they benefits and drawbacks they perceived of working on the platform. In the second part, Arne-Christian Sigge of explained how the platform management team understands their work — as marketplace operators — and described some of the common challenges that arise in mediating between workers and clients. Finally, in the afternoon, platform workers and operators described what ideas they associated with IG Metall and what questions they had for the unionists present — including why IG Metall had taken an interest in crowdsourcing. The answer — that crowdsourcing had arrived in every area of the value chain of companies whose employees the union represents — sparked wide-ranging discussions among all participants about economic changes in Germany in recent years, especially in the publishing industry.

Throughout the discussions, participants developed an awareness of one another’s activities and motivations in the crowd working world. Many came away with a variety of concrete suggestions for their individual work, and the main complaint from participants in the closing round of comments was, “It would have been nice to have more time.” The group plans to meet again.

A comprehensive summary of the workshop is available on the blog (in German).