The rapid pace and expanding scope of technological change is reshaping work and the workplace. These innovations can benefit workers by improving safety, reducing physical or repetitive burdens, or creating new types of jobs. But automation and new technologies can also eliminate workers, deskill occupations, reduce autonomy and job satisfaction, and erode economic stability for working families that contribute to the rising economic and racial inequality. These technologies do not fall from the sky; they are incubated in an innovation ecosystem shaped by public policy and public-research funding that is driven largely by an oligopoly of Big Tech companies and universities that develop and impose new technologies on workers without their consent or input. The AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of labor unions, formed the Commission on the Future of Work and Unions, which launched the AFL-CIO Technology Institute to be a voice for workers and the labor movement to confront and shape the technological change that generates tremendous profits for technology titans without providing equitable benefits for working families. Workers and labor unions warrant an equal seat at the table to help shape the policies that drive public research, craft the development of more effective workplace technologies, and collectively bargain to safeguard the interests of workers.



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