Fiona Steele, Deputy General Secretary, Aegis the Union, supporting composite C Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace at the TUC Conference 2023.
“This composite covers the variety of challenges in a range of sectors that the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) poses to us all.
“As a trade union representing workers in the financial services sector, we recognise that AI has the potential to significantly reshape our industry, impacting both employers and employees, and we are committed to ensuring that our members are well-informed and adequately prepared for the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.
“AI has already started to revolutionise various aspects of the jobs in our sector.
“This includes decision making in risk assessment, customer service, fraud detection, investment management, and data analytics.
“While these advancements offer great potential for increased efficiency, they also present a range of challenges that must be carefully addressed to safeguard the interests of workers and consumers alike.
“As the composite states the predictions around job displacement are frightening, with an estimated 75% of customer service roles being lost as a direct result of AI.
“Whilst as unions we strongly advocate for proactive measures to protect jobs and ensure that employees are equipped with the necessary skills to adapt to the evolving nature of their roles we have still to see firm action plans from the Government and employers to tackle the transition.
“We urgently need to see both parties investing in retraining and upskilling programs to ensure that everyone benefits from AI and that it improves inequality in the workplace, rather than exacerbate it.
“Too many employers see it as a cost-cutting tool rather than an opportunity for workers to develop themselves into new, more fulfilling roles.
“We are also working with employers to emphasise the importance of ethical AI.
“So that AI technology is developed and deployed in an ethical manner within the financial services industry.
“This includes addressing concerns around bias, transparency, and accountability in AI algorithms and decision-making processes. to safeguard against discriminatory practices and to protect the rights and privacy of workers.
“This requires strong governance frameworks to oversee the implementation of AI in financial services.
“Frameworks which prioritise workers’ rights which need to be developed collaboratively with employers, industry bodies, and policymakers.
“We welcome the launch of the TUC taskforce on AI, to protect workers from the misuse of AI.
“We need a fair transition to these new technologies so that worker share the rewards and benefits of the opportunities AI brings.
“By addressing the challenges outlined in the composite, we should be able to ensure a fair and inclusive transition to an AI-driven future, where the interests of both employers and employees are protected.
“Congress please support.”