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A manifesto for addressing issues around the impact of new technology has been launched by Usdaw

Date: 01 May 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw has today launched a National Executive Council (NEC) Statement on Understanding Technology and Automation: Shaping the Future of Work at their Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) in Blackpool.
Usdaw's Manifesto on Automation and Technology
  • A legal right to proper workplace consultation on the implementation of new technology.
  • Secure New Technology Agreements, where appropriate, with employers.
  • Call on the Government for a legal duty to conduct Equality Impact Assessments of new technology.
  • Campaign for workers to have a right to human connection when decisions about them and their job are being made.
  • Press the Government and employers for workers to have access to retraining and reskilling as technology is introduced.
  • Campaign for the right to secure, decent work as new technology expands.
The full document can be found here.
 
Addressing delegates, who endorsed the document, Paddy Lillis Usdaw General Secretary said: “This NEC statement comes at a critical point for Usdaw members.

Over the past 30 years, technology has played an ever increasing role in our personal lives, as well as our workplaces. Technology in the workplace is not a new thing, but the pace at which it is now being introduced and the impact it is having on our members means that it is now absolutely right to bring this statement to ADM.
 
“We need a right to collective consultation on the introduction of technology in the workplace. We need a right to retraining, with paid time off the job, to ensure that workers can take advantage of these developments, we need significant improvements to redundancy rights, so that making redundancies is no longer the cheap and easy option and we need a right to equality impact assessments, so that all workers are given the opportunity to adapt to the changing world of work. These rights will not only benefit the workforce, they will also benefit employers and society more generally.
 
“Three quarters of our members believe that better consultation would make technology more effective in their workplace. At the moment, employers are wasting money on technology that doesn't work properly. At the same time, they’re failing to invest in re-skilling their workforce. They are not preparing their workers, or their business, to meet the challenges of the future. These issues can be resolved.
 
“Employers need to talk to Usdaw and listen to workers, but so does the Government. Last year, the Government needlessly scrapped the Union Learning Fund in England. At a time where nine in ten UK employees will need retraining over the next eight years, this Government withdrew its funding for Lifelong Learning.
 
“This statement doesn’t just outline the challenges Usdaw faces, it outlines a clear roadmap to ensure our members benefit from this new technology.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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