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IndustriALL Global Union uses the term Industry 4.0 to describe a basket of disruptive technologies and work structures that are rapidly transforming the world of work. These include advanced digitalization, artificial intelligence, semi-autonomous interconnected machines, advanced robotics, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, advanced biotechnology, and platform work, among others. The technologies themselves are not the problem; it is the logic driving their introduction, which at this time is to reduce labour costs and labour standards.
If we can guide the implementation of these new technologies, we can create quality work with reduced working time and improved occupational health and safety. Among IndustriALL’s strategies for Industry 4.0 chief are:
- the demand for full participation of workers as global, regional, national and company level discussions on Industry 4.0 take place
- the protection of human and workers’ rights, particularly rights to information, training and education, and privacy
- a Just Transition for workers, their families, and the communities that depend on them, through the transformation
Regardless of whether we take action on climate change or other environmental crises, or whether we embrace or ignore technological changes, these changes will come. A transition will take place and the only choice we have is if it will be a violent scramble for jobs or resources such as water, energy, and fertile land, desperate last-minute survival measures that completely dismiss human rights and social protection, or an orderly and Just Transition that respects and protects present-day workers while creating new decent work in sustainable industries.
A Just Transition provides a pathway to a sustainable future, in all aspects of its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. For the transition to be truly just, it must point to an optimistic future – a future that workers, their families, and the communities that depend on them can support and commit to bringing about.
"For a Just Transition to a future in which the environment is protected and the economy is thriving, workers need sustainable industrial policies, with strong social protections, and support for workers - guided by social change "
IndustriALL Global Union
|The callenges of industry 4.0|
|Action Plan - World Conference on Industry 4.0 2018|
|A just transition for workers|