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International Transport Workers’ Federation calls for virtual counter-revolution against robot bosses

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Picture credit: Alper Cugun via Flickr and ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation is calling on all its members and affiliates worldwide to “work together” and launch a virtual revolution to counter the growing oppressive power of robots. 

Autonomous driving technology threatens to displace millions of truck drivers and cab drivers and other transport workers worldwide, and the ITF says the bosses and the elite are introducing these inhuman technologies without bothering to properly consider the “social costs” to the proletariat.

The ITF has 16 million members worldwide and almost 700 individual unions affiliated to the organisation.

In response to the robot takeover, the ITF is promoting a hashtag for people to tweet to – #futureofwork – as well as its own hashtag, #WeAreITF.

The ITF also organised a gathering in Stockholm, Sweden for the first meeting of the federation’s new automation working group. 

The unions in attendance, from every region of the world, are in the frontline of the ITF’s work to ensure a just transition for workers by shaping new ways of working, such as automation and platform working.

Rob Johnston, ITF assistant general secretary, said: “Revolutionary changes such as automation are a challenge to all workers around the world.

“Our unions are not a barrier to change, but they will not leave such a major transformation in the hands of corporations and governments.

“We will make sure there is a just transition that has at its centre the interests of workers, and considers the social costs.

“To achieve this we must all work together, and this working group is an example of this.”

The meeting was hosted by the Nordic Transport Workers Federation, whose general secretary, Peter Lövkvist, said: “In this region we have already been facing up to the challenges of new ways of working, such as platform working.

“We want to share with the ITF family the success we’ve had getting a fair deal for workers, and we want to learn from the experiences of transport unions around the world.

“By learning from each other we can ensure that good jobs are at the centre of the future of work.”

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