UK’s Unite Calls for Shorter Working Week

In a report released by the Office of Data and Statistics, almost 1.5 million UK residents are at ‘high risk’ as they can lose their jobs because of automation.

UK’s largest trade union, Unite, is using this opportunity to seek shorter working week for workers.

“New technology is going to generate a lot of wealth. We will fight to make sure this wealth is used to do things that help workers and their families, such as reducing working time without loss of pay,” said Unite Executive Officer Sharon Graham.

She added, “A shorter working week without loss of pay can help workers stay in work when new technology reduces the number of tasks that need to be done by people. The gains from technology should be used to change the lives of working people including better retirements and shorter working time.”

Unite is also fighting for the rights of workers saying corporations shouldn’t be the only ones to benefit from automation but also workers.

In the last few years, it is evident that cashiers, farmers, laundromat and janitorial jobs reduced because they are replaced by robots and machines. The reason for this is routine jobs are easy to automate and this is an opportunity for corporations to invest in technology to hire fewer workers and pay a little amount for labour.

In 2017, out of 19.9 million jobs analyzed in England, there are 7.4% of people employed in jobs that will be replaced by automation in the coming years. This figure says a lot about millions of people losing their jobs.

Unite is still furthering the campaign to reduce working days but is already engaging with top employers to make the ‘New Technology Contract’ happen.

Currently, the UK workers union Unite has over 1.2 million workers.