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News Roundup: 2020 Candidates Take on Automation

December 13, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

Automation is the Real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

That’s the conclusion of a Cornell University professor who thinks that the machines are coming for some of the highest-paying jobs in finance. It’s already displaced thousands of well-paid financial industry workers and there are many more to come. The news came in testimony to Congress as lawmakers study the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the financial services industry.

How Presidential Candidates are Addressing A.I.-fueled Job Elimination

The impact of artificial intelligence on job markets has been a hot topic in this year’s presidential race. Vox asked the leading Democratic contenders to weigh in with their plans to deal with the fallout. None disputed the impact, expressing concern about workers being “thrown out on the streets” and guaranteeing “the right to unionize” in response to “the greatest technological and economic shift of all time.”

Cashless Business Ban Set to Pass in NYC

A much-delayed ban on “cashless” businesses in New York City is set to face a council vote as early as this month. More than a year in progress, the bill appears likely to pass, making NYC the largest city yet to require that stores and restaurants accept cash. “A cashless business model is discriminatory by design,” said the lawmaker who introduced the bill. “This legislation ensures that all New Yorkers, regardless of their ability to access credit or debit cards, can purchase goods and services at all food and retail establishments.”

Number of the Week: 6 million

That’s how many “mobile robots” are expected to be put into service in the next year. While robots have often been thought of in logistics and manufacturing as stationary and on a “line,” the newest trend is robots that drive, lift and move. This means that jobs like forklift operators are now on the chopping block for elimination.

Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.

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