“If we don’t move, who will? “: Onestla.tech, the collective that wants to revolt digital workers

You have to slalom between panels in the colors of Google, IBM and Microsoft, then pass a poster promising a cocktail the same evening (with champagne), before finding the right room. Here, in front of around forty people, we debate the technology industry and its wealth, but without the blissful enthusiasm of certain conferences devoted to digital technology. Are algorithms a danger for Social Security? Is ethics in artificial intelligence a big scam? How to combine new technologies and ecology without greenwashing ? And above all, is it time for digital workers to revolt?

This was the busy program of the first conference of the Onestla.tech collective, which intends to bring the voice of digital workers in France to ” put technology at the service of the common good “. The event, which was held on December 15 at the Cité des sciences in Paris, was hosted by Apidays, a major digital professional conference, where we are more used to talking about software economics. than anti-capitalism.

The collective assumes this contrast. ” We, digital workers, have the privilege of full employment and high salaries “, explains on stage Hélène Maître-Marchois, co-founder of Onestla.tech, and also co-founder of Fairness, a French digital services company. ” So if we don’t try to make things happen, who will? »

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This question, Onestla.tech has been asking since its birth at the end of 2019, during the demonstrations against the pension reform. Following exchanges on social networks, a small group of digital workers publishes a text online to denounce the government’s project and highlight the role of the new technology industry in increasing economic inequalities.

“Automation can be a chance for humanity: it allows machines to delegate ever more tedious, thankless, complex, boring or unfulfilling tasks”, can we read in this founding call. ” Unfortunately, the monumental wealth produced by the machines and programs developed by digital actors are monopolized by a handful of people, owners or shareholders of tech multinationals or areas that increasingly depend on them. »

The text, signed to date by more than 2,000 people, has also attracted the attention of the media, intrigued by this a priori rare project: a strong political position taken by a group often considered to be depoliticized. ” The geeks are fighting back »French tech is getting out of its matrix »… Some observers have linked Onestla.tech to the more global movement of « techlash », a term which refers to the reversal of public and political opinion against new technology companies.

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“If we don’t move, who will? “: Onestla.tech, the collective that wants to revolt digital workers

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