We See The City

Delivery riders, distribution drivers, care workers and app-based workers are everywhere. We see Edinburgh at work and we see it sleeping. We built the Workers’ Observatory to watch the city together, to collectively challenge conditions in self-employed and gig work, and to take control of our labour.

Observing the City

The Workers’ Observatory is at the disposal of workers whose work takes them from place to place in the city. It is a site to share and study what we see.

‘Nobody, honestly, nobody loves to work Friday night’
‘There’s a glance that we can pass to one another’

Forming Worker Guilds

In Worker Guilds we are sharing insights, forming methods to interpret information, and plotting collective interventions to improve and modify our working conditions.

Guilds were historic unions for freelance workers to share insights and advance common interests. If you and your fellow workers want to join or form a guild, we want to hear from you.

Exposing Edinburgh

The Observatory is based in Edinburgh, an epicentre of corporate and civic innovation to change work through data-driven control. Workers have a stake in the strategy for data-driven innovation.

Companies and City leaders aim to make Edinburgh the ‘data capital of Europe’. We aim to influence these plans to improve conditions in the platform economy and win more control over our work.

This starts by exposing the conditions of gig work in the city, and experimenting with new ways to take control in data-driven work. You can play your part.

Monitoring Data

Advancing technologies allow platforms and companies to use data provided by workers as means of control. They exert control over our time, earnings, movement, and future security.

Courier and distribution platforms have pioneered data-driven methods that now are being applied care, travel, communication, retail, and beyond.

The Observatory is developing tools and techniques to monitor the way that personal data is used. By pooling and sharing this data we will produce a better picture of data-based control.