[2019] Motion 20 Collective voice in artificial intelligence and new technology

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 06

Congress believes that the development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will transform the world of work in the years to come.

Congress notes that these technologies have potential to significantly improve the experience of workers in the UK, but that there are also risks associated with a loss of transparency and accountability, the misapplication of new technology or a narrow focus on cutting costs by replacing jobs instead of enhancing quality.

Congress believes that this transformation will only be successful if workers have a real voice in how technology is developed and used.

Congress further believes that trade unions should be at the forefront of campaigning for the ethical and socially responsible development of AI and new technology, including a collective voice for tech workers.

Congress expresses solidarity with tech workers, at Google and elsewhere, who are campaigning for collective voice, better working conditions and against bullying and harassment.

Congress therefore calls on the TUC to:

i. campaign for worker voice in the development, introduction, and operation of new technologies in the workplace, including through new technology agreements in collective bargaining arrangements
ii. support campaigns to expand collective bargaining coverage in the tech sector, and explore strategies for building solidarity between tech workers and those impacted by new technology
iii. campaign for worker representation in government bodies concerned with the impact of new technology on our economy and society
iv. support investment in workforce skills, with a focus on improving access for underrepresented groups in STEM, in particular women.



  • Add new sub-paragraphs v. to viii. at end:
    “v. lobby for new legislation and enforcement on fair use of algorithms in workplace decision-making
    vi. support mechanisms to reduce working time in line with productivity increase
    vii. lobby for legislation to guarantee trade union or employee consultation through the automation process
    viii. organise for recognition agreements to include workers’ ownership of workers’ data.”



  • Insert new penultimate paragraph:
    “The challenges ahead are enormous and could do irreparable damage to public service provision. Workers in professional roles will not be immune from the changes. The exploitation of all workers is a real risk.”
  • At end, add new sub-paragraph v):
    “v. support unions in understanding, assessing and considering the oncoming waves of automation among workers”