This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes employee resistance to technology and online booking for travel experiences; and more.
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Workers worried of Seattle hotel automation push
It’s nothing new for labor unions to fight against automation in fear of technology eliminating jobs for their members, but it hasn’t been seen much in the hotel industry until recently. The Seattle Times reports that exact fight is ongoing in Seattle-area hotels, as workers worry over the long-term impacts of things like delivery robots and automated check-in.
Justin Adsuara, a Unite Here member and lobby attendant at a Seattle Embassy Suites property, noted the union is looking to “push for things in our contract that can indirectly mitigate the impacts of technology.”
Using mobile, apps to offer local experience
The quest for authentic local experiences is discussed so much in the hotel industry that it has grown into something of a cliché, but some companies are looking to monetize that desire by developing apps and websites to give suggestions and book tours and activities for tourists, while circumventing the traditional hotel concierge, The New York Times reports.
“The push to get travelers to book tours and activities through mobile apps and websites has never been more vigorous,” the newspaper writes. “The majority of these day trips, unlike hotels and flights, are still booked offline, representing the next major growth opportunity for online travel companies. Players large and small are racing to aggregate existing group tours, activities and attractions — from river cruises in Chicago to ‘Sound of Music’ tours in the Alps.”
A look at winning workers over to tech
Union employees aren’t the only ones resistant to the addition of new technology. A recent report by The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how sometimes the addition of new tech can spark discord from those most afraid of change in a workplace.
A Houston-based law firm is used as a test case, pointing out there are various reasons and tactics for those who are tech-resistant.
“Attorney Paul Cannon was surprised when some employees at his Houston law firm fought his decision to replace obsolete software they’d been using,” the newspaper notes. “Some resisted watching training videos. Others turned subversive, continuing to store files on their computers instead of the cloud.
“A few obstructionists blamed the new system for the tiniest of errors and insisted on dumping it. Others tried to use it the same way as the old one, only to find that importing an old address list into the new system generated so many errors that Mr. Cannon had to hire two helpers to clean it up.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.