For example, reps in the creative industries cited the September 2023 agreement reached by the Writers Guild of America with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after a high profile five-month strike. The agreement has specific provisions regarding AI and protections for creative workers.
Participants in a focus group of officers from creative sector unions spoke in detail about developing collective bargaining which fully incorporated the challenges posed by generative AI.
Along with new provisions for specific technologies, existing core trade union practises retained their value. One officer said that in her experience of representing call centre staff the “key union principles remain paramount” such as “reasonable practice”, which in a call centre could be used to challenge a range of AI management techniques, such as overbearing surveillance.
However, it was acknowledged that given the variability and relative complexity of AI, trade unionists would need to develop better understanding and tactics to understand and respond.
Consequently, as a next step, Wales TUC will support affiliated unions to share experience and best practices on understanding, using and negotiating AI, including its incorporation in collective bargaining agreements.