To tackle this, work has been undertaken by the trade union movement to enhance the understanding of trade unionists.
At three of the six focus groups participants were provided with copies of Wales TUC and Workforce Partnership Council materials relating to AI and new technology.
Our aim was to evaluate how effective the documents were in providing useful and practical information to reps to use in the workplace.
At a meeting of trade union tutors a presentation based on the TUC’s ‘When AI is the Boss’ was given. One of the participants praised the material and its associated e-learning module, which was designed with reps in mind.
More generally, participants said they found the materials useful and informative and they offered suggestions on how to further improve them. On the one hand, that it would be beneficial to have shorter, introductory information. Equally, senior reps and full time officers said that they needed materials that were more targeted and reflected the specific use of AI in their sector.
All the participants were active trade unionists, who understood the general importance of AI’s challenges, but simply did not have the time or incentive to engage with long or untailored resources on the subject.
This feedback echoes concerns in a resolution agreed at the TUC’s Congress in 2023 which read:
"Congress believes there is also a growing problem in the lack of knowledge and policy surrounding the development of technologies like AI and that the labour movement must improve our resources if we are to confront the inappropriate use of these technologies in the workplace."
Taken together, these findings demonstrate a clear demand for more materials on AI, so as a next step, Wales TUC plans to producing further targeted resources and training for trade union reps.
Furthermore we recommend that the Welsh Government and WPC further develop, promote and monitor the use of guidance for best practice on worker participation.
See the ‘next steps and recommendations’ section for more details.