The TUC has argued that robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) should be used to benefit working people – for example, by reducing the state pension age.
In a new report, the umbrella body for trade unions investigated how the next technological revolution will impact on jobs and wages. It said recent innovation has mainly benefited business owners, rather than being shared across the workforce through better wages and working conditions.
Using income gains from higher productivity, the TUC said technology should be used to halt planned increases in the state pension age. The Government announced in July that it would increase the state pension age from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039, a move set to affect millions of people currently in their 40s.
The TUC also suggested:
- Giving everyone the right to a mid-life career review, and stepping up the investment in workplace training to the EU average – at present the UK invests just half.
- Giving more workers the opportunity through collective bargaining to gain a share of the economic gains technology brings through wage increases.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “Robots and AI could let us produce more for less, boosting national prosperity. But we need a debate about who benefits from this wealth, and how workers get a fair share.”