With BT recently announcing the end of 55,000 jobs as a result of the company's intended use of AI, it is clear that the threat to employment is probably the first and greatest risk of industry employing Artificial Intelegence with the specific aim of vastly reducing its workforce in order to amximise profits!
The TUC responded to the AI threat some 2 years ago and ahead of the current debate, in March 2021, by publishing their 'AI Manifesto' which is hopefully to be signed up to by Trade Unions and employers.
We mustn't forget that Trade Unions are also employers!
'Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we work and, alongside boosting productivity, offers an opportunity to improve working lives.
But new technologies also pose risks: more inequality and discrimination, unsafe working conditions, and unhealthy blurring of the boundaries between home and work.
The TUC believes we are now at a crucial moment in the AI-driven technological workplace revolution. AI is being used to make important, life-changing decisions about people at work; decisions like who gets a job and who is made redundant. And new technologies are being rolled out at an incredible speed. The pace of change has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, with AI being used to facilitate management of remote working.
If we seize this moment, we can ensure that dignity at work, fair rewards and workers’ voice are at the heart of the agenda. But if we fail to act, we run the risk that rather than delivering benefits for all, these new technologies will entrench inequalities, unfair treatment and unsafe working practices.
Our prediction is that left unchecked, the use of AI to manage people will also lead to work becoming an increasingly lonely and isolating experience, where the joy of human connection is lost.
In this manifesto, we highlight the values we should all adopt to make sure that technology at work is for the benefit of everyone, and to reassert the importance of human agency in the face of technological control. Work is a huge part of all our lives. It matters to all of us that we get this technological revolution right. The time for action is now.'
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is adding to the job cuts tally of the UK’s major telecom network operators with plans to make at least 800 staff, about 5% of the company’s workforce, redundant this summer, according to reports.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) had warned in February that up to 1,400 VMO2 jobs were at risk due to site rationalisation and restructuring processes, and news that VMO2 staff had been sent redundancy notices emerged last week: The headcount reduction plan was confirmed by the operator, though the numbers of employees affected was not shared.
Over the weekend, though, reports emerged that at least 800 VMO2 staff are due to lose their jobs before the end of July: In a prime example of what might very charitably be described as ‘corporate sophistry writ large’, the company is set to implement staff salary increases from 1 August, the day after all of the current planned job cuts are set to have been implemented, so ensuring that redundancy payments are not based on increased salary terms. Source: TelecomTV.com