26 September 2017

Press release

'The impact new technologies have is profound'

The CBI has responded to the Shadow Business Secretary’s speech at Labour Party Conference.

Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey

On collective bargaining, Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“Employers work with Trade Unions, including for collective bargaining, where their workforce has chosen to be represented in this way.

“It is essential that workers are free to choose how they would like to be represented and that businesses respect this. The current legal framework ensures that they can be represented collectively by a Trade Union when they want to be.”

On automation, Josh said:

“The impact that new technologies have on our economy is profound, bringing a huge range of benefits for both for businesses and people.  It’s clear that new technology will create new jobs in some areas, whilst reducing them in others.    

“For companies and policymakers alike, managing that transition will be key and that’s why the CBI called for a new body to help address this challenge in our business manifesto before the general election.

“We know that if we can get it right, this will be a good news story - the more companies invest in technology, the more likely they are to think that data-driven technologies like AI, Blockchain and the internet of things will create new highly skilled, high paid roles.”

Alternative models of ownership, Josh said:

“It is vital that employees are engaged with and motivated by the businesses they work for.  Ownership models such as cooperatives can be one way of delivering this. 

“This will not be the right model for every business though, and it’s important we continue to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in their technology.”