South Africa

As robots, apps and algorithms change work, what does it mean for unions?

From the rise of a mechanised looms that threatened the future of artisanal textile weavers, to the banking app that is eroding the need for tellers and branches — humans have long had an uneasy relationship with the technologies that change production and the nature of the work they do.

In SA’s often fractious economic landscape, the changes to the world of work pose a particular thorny problem for trade unions. In a world of intensifying automation on assembly lines, and industries where algorithms and apps perform the tasks of people — what are local unions doing to navigate this change?..

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