Post truths and workers rights today!

Adeje Summer University – Day 1

The rights of workers in the 21st global market place and the emergence of post-truth in politics were just two of the subjects under the spotlight during day one of the Adeje Summer University.

The University of La Laguna law professor, Gloria Rojas Rivero, is leading the course on “Globalización y empresas en red: organización empresarial y nuevas formas de trabajo” – globalisation and internet businesses and new forms of work. In particular she is looking at the consequences of this new form of business and employment for workers and their work conditions with workforces spread across many different national jurisdictions “We are examining how we deal with the main concerns of institutions dealing with workers’ rights and conditions given the phenomenon of global economy”, she explained.

Over the three days of the course students will examine delimitation, inter-company cooperation, franchising, sub-contract networks, unions, collaborative platforms, and how workers can identify and guarantee their rights. She said that to date “the rights of workers are not evolving to meet the new needs” and to date most of the new problems for workers haven’t been adequately dealt with. “The new business networks means that a company can make its products in over 60 different countries and those workers are subject to different labour laws and conditions”.

The highly regarded television correspondent Rosa María Calaf was the main speaker at the opening session of a conference on the history and social communication of Macaronesia, as part of the Summer University. She offered students a personal vision of journalism today, in particular ‘post-truth’ (in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from details, and by the repetition of talking points with speakers rebutting the presentation of facts). And while it might seem like a new development, she says post-truths have been around for a long time, but are more prevalent today.

The existence or peddling of ‘false news’ goes back over many years – she referred to Charles II of England in 1762 who had to issue an edict outlawing false news about the Crown circulating in taverns. Post-truths appeal to the emotion, and is nothing new, but what has changed, she argues, is that new technology increases the widespread impact and speed of circulation of post-truths. She named Brexit, the election of Trump, the recent Italian general election, and the Catalan situation, as examples of issues that had and are affected by the use of post-truths.

The Adeje Summer University runs all week with course, workshops and parallel cultural activities in the centre of Adeje town.