Center for American Progress

Release: Workers Want To Take Control Over AI, and Unions Can Help
Press Release

Release: Workers Want To Take Control Over AI, and Unions Can Help

Washington, D.C. —  The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve workers’ day-to-day work now and in the future, but it also poses risks for workers. A new Center for American Progress report examines how collective bargaining is a powerful tool in helping workers negotiate contract provisions that protect workers from the elimination of jobs, place limits on surveillance and algorithmic management, and provide opportunities for workers to benefit from productivity boosts offered by AI tools. 

While the full impacts of AI on workers across the country are largely unknown, it’s critical that policymakers take advantage of the moment to shore up existing worker protections and strengthen workers’ ability to organize so that unions can ensure that workers benefit from, and are not harmed by, AI. This new report walks through how unions such as the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have successfully fought back in negotiations against the harmful threats AI poses to their work through generative AI and digital replicas. The report also explores how unions are protecting jobs and work environments by negotiating with companies over new technology that has the potential to disrupt workers’ abilities to do their jobs, subject workers to invasive surveillance, or eliminate their jobs entirely. 

“Unions give workers a powerful voice for ensuring AI-powered tools enhance workers’ day-to-day operations rather than making their jobs worse or put them out of work altogether,” said Aurelia Glass, policy analyst for Inclusive Economy at CAP and author of the report. “Strengthening legislation that empowers more workers and their right to organize will protect more workers from the threats AI could pose to their work now and in the future while ensuring they enjoy the benefits of new technology.”

Read the report: Unions Give Workers a Voice Over How AI Affects Their Jobs” by Aurelia Glass

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected]

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