Yolanda Díaz in the US: “algorithms do not walk the streets alone”

The second vice president of the Government and minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Diaztraveled to America this Monday to meet with the United States Secretary of Labor (USA), Julie Su. Both representatives have signed a statement on algorithmic transparency in the world of work to combat “algorithmic bias.”

Díaz has assured that “algorithms are not neutral, they have biases” and that, in his opinion, the use of this computational tool is “the debate of the moment” and “not that of the future.” The Spanish second vice president has defended the intention of the Governments of Spain and the United States to advance in the development of the digital economy, but placing fundamental and labor rights “at the center.”

According to the Spanish minister, in collective bargaining also the use of mathematical formulas should be “negotiated”algorithmic or mathematical instructions in the performance of labor relations.” Díaz has assured that automated systems and algorithms must be used to promote equity based on already existing frameworks, as well as to analyze the legal bases to control workers through automated systems, examine whether the methods used detect bias and, if applicable, how to mitigate it, as well as the appropriateness of decision-making that may violate the rights of workers.

The second vice president, author of the phrase “The rich have rockets to escape from the earth”has resorted once again to the historic rhetoric that has so characterized the Galician leaders and has declared that “As you are well aware, algorithms do not walk the streets alone”. Furthermore, she has attacked science as destroying jobs when she has expressed “algorithms do not fire freely in the streets” and has maintained the non-impartiality of technology: “algorithms and mathematical formulas are not free”has explained.

Díaz has anticipated possible criticism by stating that these tools “are depreciating the value and future of work in the world” and that They do not have a “dystopian vision” or “technological luddism” over reality, but rather combining the advancement of the digital economy with fundamental and labor rights. It is a vision that gives the tools and technological advances ideological load and try to politicize them.

Despite denying it, the ideas that Yolanda Díaz has expressed could be considered close to an ideology contrary to technological progress, which looks with suspicion on the implementation of technical and technological improvements at worktaking them as a possible threat to existing jobs and not as a possible elevation of the productivity.

In this way, the labor leaders of both nations sign an agreement that focuses on the information that automated systems provide about workersif r are metprivacy requirements and the way in which these can affect the Labor conditions or the Fundamental rights from the workers.

According to Díaz, the statement focuses on the lack of protection of companies towards their employees, since, in their opinion, many companies are unaware of the biases that occur in their labor relations. In his own words: “the declaration It is a call to the international communitybut now we want establish it in international forums in which we find ourselves, especially in the OECDhe G20“and many other institutes.”

The signing of the declaration is a consequence of the cooperation in socio-labor matters between both countries as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the US Department of Labor and the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy in July 2022, which advocates guaranteeing equal opportunities and the rights of workers, as reported by EuropaPress.