New Technology & Work

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California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies

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RELEASE: Technological change in five industries: Threats to jobs, wages, and working conditions

The UC Berkeley Labor Center has released a report on how and why employers in key industries are deploying new technologies, and what effects these changes could have on workers. The report, “Technological change in five industries: Threats to jobs, wages, and working conditions,” synthesizes the findings from studies released by the Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA from 2018 to 2022. The report concludes that technology’s effects on job quality – like wages and working conditions – should be just as big of a concern as its effects on the total number of jobs available.

Chris Benner, Sarah Mason, Françoise Carréand Chris Tilly

Delivering Insecurity: E-commerce and the Future of Work in Food Retail

This report examines trends in food retail in the U.S. preceding and up through the pandemic, assessing how e-commerce is likely to affect workers in the industry in the next 5-10 years. In contrast to widespread fears that technology leads to automation-related job loss, e-commerce is creating jobs, as customers are now paying for tasks that they used to do themselves for free. But for most of these new positions, job quality is a serious concern, and the passage of Proposition 22 in California this fall exacerbates the problem.

Lisa Kresge

Union Collective Bargaining Agreement Strategies in Response to Technology

This paper reviews strategies that unions have used to leverage their collective bargaining agreements to address technological change, both past and present. It groups these approaches into three categories: those focused on establishing rights and roles regarding the decision to adopt new technology, those designed to mitigate the introduction of new technology, and those related to the use of technology in workforce management.

Emlyn Bottomley

Data and Algorithms in the Workplace: An Overview of Current Public Policy Strategies

This paper provides an inventory of existing and proposed public policy strategies designed to mitigate the risks and maximize the benefits of data-driven technologies when applied in the workplace. The strategies are organized into five groups: notice and transparency, accountability, individual data rights, workplace rights, and government oversight and regulation.

Françoise Carré, Chris Tilly, Chris Bennerand Sarah Mason

Change and Uncertainty, Not Apocalypse: Technological Change and Store-Based Retail

In this report, we focus on trends in technology adoption in the retail sector, looking beyond the effects of the current crisis to trace how retailers are using digital technologies in ways that alter the quality and quantity of front-line retail jobs. While we recognize the pandemic’s possible impacts on the retail workplace throughout the report, the bulk of our discussion concerns longstanding trends that appear likely to continue over the next five years or longer.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

RELEASE: Change and Uncertainty, Not Apocalypse: Technological Change and Store-Based Retail

New technologies in the retail sector are likely to mean more monitoring and coercion of workers, and a stronger advantage for large companies like Walmart and Amazon, according to a new report released today from the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA.

Adam Seth Litwin

Technological Change in Health Care Delivery

This report examines the drivers of technological change in the U.S. health care industry and explores how technologies may be used in response to the challenges facing the industry over the next five to 10 years. We also assess how technological change in health care may affect health care workers, who represent 12% of total employment in the United States—around 18 million workers.

Steve Viscelli

Driverless? Autonomous Trucks and the Future of the American Trucker

Will autonomous trucks mean the end of the road for truck drivers? The $740-billion-a-year U.S. trucking industry is widely expected to be an early adopter of self-driving technology, with numerous tech companies and major truck makers racing to build autonomous trucks. This trend has led to dozens of reports and news articles suggesting that automation could effectively eliminate the truck-driving profession.