Solidarity with Tech Workers - Workers must protect their mental health
Earlier this week, Facebook's content moderators, supported by the advocacy group Foxglove, urged Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to advocate with Facebook for improving their working conditions.
A news source from one worker told the IWW "The company has forced contractors, hired through an Irish outsourcing company Covalen, to work from the Dublin office despite the Level 5 lockdown. Facebook classified content moderators as essential workers, even though full-time employees with similar roles were allowed to work from home.
"Contract moderators are also underpaid and don't receive mental health support, which is a necessity in this kind of work. Every day, they are exposed to violent, offensive, and disturbing content and work to protect Facebook's 2.7 billions users from it."
Another worker told us that "There is currently more than 1,000 content moderator working for Facebook just in Ireland and without them, the platform cannot function.
"The disregard Facebook and Covalen showed towards the well-being of those workers and their families is appalling. Both companies are putting them at risk by demanding they work from the office during a pandemic, especially in the strictest level of lockdown in Ireland."
A spokesperson for Industrial Workers of the World Dublin earlier today upon learning of recent developments said "We stand in solidarity with Facebook's moderators and the workers of Foxglove Legal.
"We fully support their demands for mental health care and their ability to work from home during a pandemic.
"It's true that these are indeed exceptional times however as workers we must also be forever mindful that an injury to one is an injury to all. Workers must protect there mental health even if their bosses don't want too or feel they have too."