The report calls for unions, employers and government to work together through a new Future of Work Commission. It would set out how the government can:
Ensure that new technology is introduced with the consent of workers – with new technology agreements agreed by trade unions in workplaces across the country.
Investigate how to boost productivity across the UK, by investing in new technology that can improve the quality of life.
Ensure that the gains from that productivity are shared with workers, setting out an ambition to move to shorter hours and higher pay. The commission should see moving to a four-day week, with no reduction to living standards, as an ambition for the twenty-first century.
Provide skills training for those at risk of losing their jobs as the workplace changes – with a new learning entitlement for every worker, delivered with advice from a union rep.
The world of work has changed significantly since 1868, when the TUC was founded. Match factories have been replaced by Amazon fulfilment centres; dockers with Uber drivers. And changes in technology, demography and the climate are set to change work further still over the coming years.
Trade unionists are optimistic about the future. Our past shows that by working together, we can make work better. But at present, the way that work is changing poses real challenges to achieving our aim of a fair deal for workers.
This report brings together the latest evidence with a new large-scale poll on how technology could affect the future of work, conducted for the TUC in the summer of 2018.
Download report (pdf)