With new technology changing the way we work and continuing to make our jobs more efficient; TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady says employees across the country deserve a longer weekend and higher pay.
She believes that too many firms are using technological advances to treat people unfairly; as bosses and shareholders “hoover up all the gains from new tech”. Should the benefits instead allow companies to increase wages and give workers more time with their families? Research by the TUC, which represents most UK trade unions, shows that most workers expect managers and shareholders will reap the benefits of new technology.
Ms O’Grady told the TUC Congress in Manchester that the results of the survey show that change is needed to ensure workers remain motivated.
“In the 19th century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the 20th century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays,”… “So, for the 21st century, let’s lift our ambition again. I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone”
Over 1.4 million people are working seven days a week and 3.3 million working more than 45 hours a week. Stress and long hours were identified by the TUC as workers’ biggest concerns after pay, although more and more jobs are feared to be at risk as artificial intelligence improves.
So is it time for a change? Do we move with the times and show our employees that they are valued more than technology?