TUC: AI workers should help reverse pension age increase

Workers have yet to reap the rewards of automation, says TUC

The benefits gained from the adoption of AI in the workplace should be used to improve work conditions and reverse proposed changes to the state pension age, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Historically, the rewards of automation, such as higher productivity and lower operating costs, have only benefitted owners and senior leadership rather than the entire workforce, argued the federation, which represents more than 50 unions in England and Wales.

In the Shaping Our Digital Future report, published on Monday, the TUC argued that although the workplace has seen significant disruption through digitisation and the use of robotics, workers have not been equipped to deal with the change.

Almost one in three workers were employed in manufacturing in the 1950s, the report said,, while one in twelve worked in professional and technical services.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

These figures have since reversed, according to the report, but industrial-based roles lost through automation have not been replaced by jobs of similar quality, and wages in that sector remain 10% below the national average.

GDP could be 10% higher in 2030 due to benefits from AI, outlines research by PwC quoted in the report, and TUC argued that this could be used to help reduce the need for employees to work into their late 60s.

"With the UK failing to make productivity gains in the last decade, we need to make the most of the economic opportunities that new technologies are offering," said TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady. "Robots and AI could let us produce more for less, boosting national prosperity. But we need a debate about who benefits from this wealth."

Proposals to increase the state pension age to 68 were controversially brought forward seven years to 2037 and 2039, expected to affect seven million people in their 30s and 40s.

Revenue generated from automation could be used to reverse this policy, according to the TUC, as well as allow businesses to improve pay and working conditions for their employees.

"Robots are not just terminators," added O'Grady. "Some of today's jobs will not survive, but new jobs will be created. We must make sure that tomorrow's jobs are no worse than today's. They must provide fulfilling work, with good pay and conditions."

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/government-it-strategy/28305/ir35-news
Policy & legislation

Government announces review of IR35 off-payroll changes

8 Jan 2020
Visit/careers/28929/data-scientist-jobs-where-does-the-big-data-talent-gap-lie
Careers & training

Data scientist jobs: Where does the big data talent gap lie?

17 Sep 2019
Visit/strategy/29521/three-tips-for-effective-business-collaboration
Business strategy

Four tips for effective business collaboration

27 Aug 2019
Visit/business-operations/33930/it-pro-panel-the-truth-about-talent
Business operations

IT Pro Panel: The truth about talent

1 Jul 2019

Most Popular

Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/laptops/354533/dell-xps-13-new-9300-hands-on-review-chasing-perfection
Laptops

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020