Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral part of the workplace, including in the commerce sector, with companies adopting innovations based on AI technology at increasing speed. As their impact on working conditions is growing – from scheduling shifts to surveillance – the voice of unions needs to be heard.
In the effort of supporting trade unions in this challenge, UNI Europa Commerce is leading a two-year, EU-funded project “Managing and monitoring – the use of AI in the retail sector” (MMAI). Through the project, UNI Europa Commerce will run workshops and produce a toolkit and instructional videos to support unions in securing good working conditions by negotiating the use of algorithms.
The overall objective of this project is to identify how unions, workers representatives and health & safety representatives in the commerce sector can respond to the accelerating use of AI, raise awareness, and provide both training and practical tools. The project will help to grow representativeness, strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining, and negotiate agreements between social partners.
The project focuses on 4 target countries – France (CFDT Services), Hungary (KASZ), Spain (CCOO Servicios) and Sweden (Handels and Unionen). But the toolkit and the instructional videos, to be finalised in 2025, will serve all UNI Europa Commerce affiliates and unions, as well social partners and key stakeholders in the commerce sector.
Following the first meeting of the project Steering Group in November, an online survey has been launched asking commerce unions to provide information on existing experiences, as well as challenges and strategies, on social dialogue and collective agreements dealing with the use of artificial intelligence. The results of the survey will be presented in an overview report and a subsequent series of national workshops in the target countries planned in spring 2024.