May 10, 2018

UFCW Statement on White House AI Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the White House bringing major U.S. companies together for a summit about artificial intelligence (AI).

“The threat of joblessness due to increased automation is massive and it is beyond time we all came together to discuss solutions.

To most companies, the desire to automate jobs is not about increasing productivity or improving the service experience; it’s about maximizing profit by eliminating labor costs.

A strong and functioning society does not exist unless there are jobs for people to earn a living, support a family and build a better life.

We hope today’s summit is a start towards harnessing technology so that it creates better jobs and an economy that enriches us all, rather than a chosen few.”

BACKGROUND

  • A report by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that automation could eliminate up to 73 million jobs by 2030.
  • A report by Cornerstone Capital Group found that nearly 50 percent of today’s 16 million retail jobs could be replaced by automation in the coming decade.
  • A report by PwC concluded that automated robots could replace four in ten U.S. jobs.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.