By Victor Ahiuma-Young
“Whatever forms of Industrialization, 1st or fourth industrial revolution there must be decent sustainable jobs for the workers with job security, living wages and living pensions.”
These were the words of African Region of IndustriALL Global Union, while commenting on the Labour dimension to Industrialisation.
Speaking through the Vice President, IndustriALL Global Union, African Region, Issa Aremu, the body implored all unions to audit the effects of the 4th Industrial revolution, of all workers.
According to him, “whatever forms of Industrialization, 1st or fourth industrial revolution there must be decent sustainable jobs for the workers with job security, living wages and living pensions. Businesses and owners of capital are employing robots, Machines and computers to replace workers in order to maximize profits and lower wages or even deny pay all together. Yes technology makes work easier, but they also could lead to job losses. All unions should have an audit of effects of the 4th industrial revolu-tion, of all workers.”
While emphasizing on the need to train and re-train workers, he said “there should be education and re-training for the workers. Employers and governments should not criminalize skill gaps as a result of digitalisations of production. The Fourth Industrial Revolution calls for the need to develop skills and know-how by workers to work with digital technologies, because they will be increasingly presented in our life and work. Otherwise the majority of African workers will be relegated to the bottom of the technology and education chain.”
Challenges for future
“Workers should not be left behind because of a lack of education and training. They should be educated for the jobs of the future, re-skilling and up-skilling of workers. We should defend collective agreements that are in place, develop a list of future skills for future work, and we need to know and do things that machines cannot do well.
“We have to define how we can work with these machines – Human machine partnership, defending and improving workers’ remuneration, benefits and working conditions, job security and other workers’ rights, preserve and expand the number of jobs, strengthen the union capacity and engagement with Government on new areas of job creation.”