OTTAWA, Ontario — A union representing more than 5,000 Canadian National Railway employees in Canada has charged the railroad has been tracking the off-hours location of employees through company-issued computer tablets.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, in a message to members earlier this month on its website, said it had “become aware CN is utilizating the geographical tracking functionalities of the tablets … to monitor the whereabouts of employees even during their off-duty hours” and advised members leave the tablets in their lockers or with their immediate supervisors at the conclusion of their shift.” The union said it was seeking legal counsel “to pursue corrective measures for this breach of privacy.”
CTV News reports it was told by the union’s director of public affairs, Christopher Monette, that the TCRC learned of the tracking during a disciplinary procedure, and called the tracking “spying,” saying “it’s wrong, and it’s illegal in our view … on top of it being creepy, it’s downright dystopian.”
CTV said CN declined an interview request. Spokesman Jonathan Abecassis told the network in an email that the company “uses data from GPS to ensure the safety of its employees while on duty as well as its equipment and property.” He said the company was in discussions with the union regarding the matter and would decline further comment.