A future for all workers: Technology and worker power
Technology has always been an integral part of the tools people use at their jobs and to create solidarity and exercise their voices at work. Change is inevitable, but the form it takes is not. At issue are how workplaces implement new technologies and the impact these technologies have on workers’ lives. How these technological changes are implemented, in turn, depends on the underlying economic and legal structures, as well as the extent to which workers are empowered to be full and active partners in technological adoption and integration.
Equitable Growth’s “A future for all workers: Technology and worker power” virtual event featured researchers and advocates discussing how technology is used to amplify or stifle worker voice, how workers bargain over the use of data and technology, and how policy can improve outcomes in the future of work.
Panel 1: Using technology for worker voice
Technology offers new opportunities for workers to engage with each other and collectively exercise their voice at work. This panel reviewed how workers successfully use the tools of technology to engage with each other and with their employers to increase worker power, and what new tools and policy supports are needed to continue to build worker power in a new economy.
Panel 2: Bargaining over technology
Throughout history, technological adoption within workplaces has changed the nature of people’s jobs. One critical aspect of worker power is being able to bargain over the processes of implementing and using new technologies, so that both workers and businesses can thrive in a productive economy. This panel explored worker advocacy around new technologies in the workplace, and what legislation and protections are needed for workers to have a say over how and when new technologies become part of their jobs.
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