The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee website

The Greater London Co-ordinating Committee (GLCoord) consists of the three union branches of the Communications and Digital (C&D) Sector in Prospect which serve members in the Greater London area. We represent members working in companies who do not have recognition agreements with Prospect as well as members actively seeking work even if not currently employed.  You can join Prospect on line via thier website. If you wish to find out more you can contact any Branch Principal Officer via thier email address.

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1676 FeatureProspect vice president Ele Wade said technology has been changing the world of work for centuries and this has created challenges and opportunities for workers. “The challenge for our time is how we handle the use of data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning,” she said. She pointed to a growing awareness of bias becoming embedded in algorithms. New tech could be used to monitor workers or replace them; or it could be used to make work safer and more interesting as artificial intelligence takes on monotonous tasks. Prospect is already seeing the impact of this technology in areas as diverse as nuclear decommissioning and climate science. Wade argued that it is our job as trade unionists to put workers in the driving seat of this change, including by helping to develop tech workers’ collective voice such as those in the recent Google walkouts. A recent poll by Prospect found that 58% of workers felt they have no say in the implementation of new tech at work. Ele concluded by saying that although this seems like “daunting new territory”, unions have the experience to improve the working lives of these workers.

The full text of the motion from Prospect and the amendments by Community & FDA follows:

20 Collective voice in artificial intelligence and new technology -- from Prospect

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.

Amendment from Community

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 increases
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.”

Amendment from FDA

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

 

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