Are Unions Angry About GPS Tracking? Here’s How To Work With Them

GPS Tracking : 5 Ways You Can Work With (Not Against) The Unions

How To Work with Driver Unions to Get GPS Tracking

Field service management has changed a lot in recent years due to the evolution of advanced technologies and tools, such as AI-powered route optimization software that comes with GPS tracking capabilities.

Such tools are a boon to business: they allow you to make your operations more efficient, which means you can make more money with the same amount of resources.

But workers are often annoyed by the adoption of GPS technology.

They feel like they’re being spied on like you don’t trust them. They call it “big brother”. So, driver unions often oppose GPS tracking.

Let’s find out in detail why unions do not like GPS tracking and how you can convince them that this technology will actually improve drivers’ working lives.

Why Unions Oppose GPS Tracking

They Want to Protect Their Members From Invasions Of Privacy

Unions exist to protect their members from unfair working conditions. A lot of drivers believe that GPS tracking is an unnecessary invasion of privacy. Some even believe that management only implements such tools as a way to punish their drivers.

It Makes Drivers Feel Like They’re Not Trusted

Some unions oppose vehicle tracking because they believe the adoption of such tools shows management doesn’t trust their drivers. Earlier drivers weren’t being watched once they left the depot, and now they are being watched. So it’s only natural for people to resist change. 

They Think GPS Tracking Doesn’t Make Sense Financially

Unions often argue that a route planner with a vehicle tracking feature doesn’t make sense financially because the service area drivers cover is not large enough to justify the use of such technology.

They fail to realize that the GPS tracking app is beneficial for any fleet, delivery, or field service business whether they serve a local community or cover a larger area.

How You Can Persuade Union Drivers That GPS Tracking Is a Win-Win For Everyone

It Helps Drivers Get To Where They Need To Go

Drivers hate being lost. They hate being late to customers.

Sure, they don’t hold the same stake in keeping customers happy in the way that a business does, but it does make them look bad.

It mars their professional reputations, decreases their chances of future pay raises and promotions, and increases their chances of eventually being let go.

Even if getting lost wasn’t the driver’s fault (a fleet manager may have plugged in a misspelled address or something like that), they’re the ones who usually suffer the consequences.

Well, a commercial GPS tracker makes it a whole lot easier for dispatchers to direct drivers to their destinations.

Managers can see if a driver is drifting off-course, and then they can contact the driver immediately and get them back on track.

Drivers will reach customers on time, and their reputations will remain intact.


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It Improves Driver Safety in High-Accident Areas & in Bad Neighborhoods

GPS tracking app is also a great tool to improve driver safety.

The technology can help reduce instances of speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, and other dangerous driving behaviors. In pretty much any situation, people behave better when they know they’re being watched. 

ALSO READ: Aggressive Driving Is On The Rise – What Can We Do To Handle It?

It Helps to Counter False Claims Made by Customers

GPS tracker also plays a crucial role in protecting drivers from false claims made by customers. 

Every now and then, you’ll have a customer say that they never received their package, and your driver will tell you that they actually did drop it off.

What really happened?

Did your driver keep the package for themselves, or is a customer trying to trick you out of a refund when they really did receive their order?

What do you do?

With a GPS tracking device, you will have access to historical fleet data that enables you to view the drivers’ locations during the date and time of a customer’s dispute.

So when a customer claims that no driver showed up, you’ll be able to prove that a vehicle was at the location during the time of the dispute, if that was the case.

It Cuts Down Expenses

An app for GPS tracking also slashes operating costs by a significant margin by reducing maintenance, legal, fuel, theft, and vehicle life-cycle expenses. 

Fewer expenses mean you have more money to use for paying your drivers.

It’ll help prevent the need to lay off any drivers. What kind of drivers union doesn’t love that?

Learn how GPS tracking can help attract the best drivers to your business.

Show the Drivers Proven Results, Reward Positive Behavior

Okay, so we have to admit that we’re a little biased here. We sell route optimization software that comes with GPS tracking, so obviously we’re going to gush about the benefits of GPS tracking.

But you don’t have to take our word for it.

You can just take a look at a few of the many, many examples of organizations that made themselves more efficient by adopting vehicle tracking technology.

One such success story comes from the City of Dallas. City administrators wanted to implement a GPS fleet tracking system in their garbage truck fleet to increase the performance of their waste removal teams and reduce overtime.

Initially, sanitation workers resisted. They didn’t want to be tracked. 

Dallas went ahead with its plan, though. According to city officials, within the first year of GPS tracking adoption, they saved $677,000. Fuel expense savings alone accounted for $170,000 of that total. 

And after seeing how much vehicle GPS tracking improved driver safety, even the sanitation workers who initially resisted acknowledged that vehicle tracking was beneficial for them overall.

GPS Time Capture Restrictions

To help address privacy concerns, let your drivers know that you can control when GPS tracking devices are actually tracking.

So when there’s a scheduled lunch hour or something like that, you can turn tracking off and your drivers can go wherever they want without being surveilled.

Union-Only Access

Unions want transparency. They want to know what’s happening to make sure that drivers are being treated fairly.

By offering union-only access to vehicle tracking information, you’ll be able to prove you’re transparent and keep the unions happy.

Aggregated Reports/Analytics

The data you gather from the GPS tracking for cars is invaluable – it’ll show you how you can save a lot of money.

But again, unions have privacy concerns. They don’t want you delving into the nitty-gritty details of every driver.

So if you’re dealing with a privacy-minded union, show that you don’t have to look into individual driver data – you can get all the savings-increasing information you need from collective data that doesn’t reveal driver identities.

This won’t help identify which drivers need more training and which are doing well and deserving of awards, though.

That’s something you’d only be able to do if you looked at individual data.

Anonymized GPS Tracking

Anonymized vehicle tracking is another option you can use to encourage union support for GPS tracking.

With this method of tracking, the data won’t reveal the identities of your drivers.

Instead, you’ll get a uniquely obfuscated driver ID for each driver (just a bunch of random numbers, usually). This won’t reveal anyone’s identity, but it will give you more information to work with than collective data alone.

What if the Unions Still Don’t Agree to Accept GPS Tracking?

Even if you show all of the aforementioned benefits of GPS tracking to your drivers and their unions, there is no guarantee they will be convinced. 

We at Route4Me understand this, and this is why we made sure that our route optimizer can be used without our GPS tracking feature. You just need to disable the tracking option.

That way you can still plan 100% accurate routes, even though you’re not tracking vehicles. The unions shouldn’t have any problem with that.

Have you ever faced any opposition from unions when trying to implement new technology? If so, what did you do about it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.