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Automation doesn’t have to mean job losses says Unite

Automation doesn’t have to mean job losses says Unite

19 January 2018

Responding to the Adam Smith Institute, Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has warned against letting the global elite in Davos buy people off with universal payments in exchange for unemployment. 

A new report from the right wing think tank is quick to press for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) “to avoid a populist backlash” against the unemployment they say will be caused by robots and automation.

But Unite argues that work must remain a central pillar of society and efficiencies from automation don’t have to mean job losses. 

Sharon Graham, Unite executive officer, said: “The Adam Smith Institute is quick to press for a Universal Basic Income ‘to avoid a populist backlash’ against the unemployment they say will be caused by automation. We would rather avoid the unemployment in the first place. Work must remain a central pillar of society and efficiencies from automation don’t have to mean job losses. 

“Why not have shorter working weeks and better retirements? The next generation of technology is going to generate a lot of wealth and we need to make sure it delivers for society not just make bigger profits. We will need unions to fight for that to happen.

“Before letting the global elite in Davos start buying people off with universal payments in exchange for unemployment, we should ask ourselves some serious questions: Who is going to set the rates of the UBI and how? How could we prevent it merely subsidising low pay? And could we stop it undermining the voice of workers and collective bargaining?”

ENDS

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315 

For more information about the Pay Claim Generator see the following guide. http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/Pay%20Claim%20Generator%20V2111-33307.pdf

  • Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.