(13 October 2016) Christine Jakob from EPSU participated at a Workshop in the European Parliament on Technology and Job Losses. The seminar organized by the Austrian Institute for Technology brought together trade union representatives, Members of Parliament, the European Commission and economic scholars from Finland and Italy working on the impact of technology on jobs.
There are concerns about the effect of digitalization on employment conditions and income distribution across services and industry. It was noted that job losses are not key to the Commission’s Digital Agenda. The OECD estimates that 9% of jobs are at risk of being automated-affecting routine-job tasks. The pace of the introduction of technology across industries is accelerating making the need to have a more focussed debate on the impact of digitalization and employment. The wealth gains produced by digital companies creates unequal levels of income distribution. EPSU made the point the need for an appropriate corporate consolidated tax rate for digital giants and the need of strong public services to cushion unequal wealth distribution and at the same time ensuring no further undermining of social rights of bogus self-employment. The debate around the European Social Pillar was flagged as one tool to counter further inequalities in society.
EPSU presented the main points developed in its policy position how to safeguard public services in a digital age to Members of the European Parliament, and economic scholars that work on the impact of job losses through technology.