The articles attached or cted below were sent in response to the following query from John Kretzschmar, UNOmaha, in January, 2019:

I was approached by an IBT leader to see if there are any union or university labor educators thinking about the future of work…as more and more jobs are eliminated through automation and artificial intelligence. He was specifically thinking about driving jobs, and understood that the impact could be devastating to both unions and our understanding of creating a nation with “liberty and justice for all.” He noted that he was worried about what happens when…in the search of maximizing short-term profits for investors…jobs disappear.

Most everyone has this notion of a meritocracy where we all must work to earn money. Not enough of the public focus on income inequality as a HUGE roadblock to the American Dream. No jobs would obviously worsen that concern. What happens when that concept of “working for a living” is thrown on its head? Where does a guaranteed income come into the picture? Where do labor unions fit in the picture? I said that I had NO idea, but would put the question out to UALE. Pardon me if it’s been discussed before. If it has, please point me to the writings/teachings so I can share them with this fellow. – John


from Bill Barry (Community College of Baltimore, retired): "Here is a discussion from six years ago on the topic--you shoulda seen the comments!!" (A link to the comments is included.)

  document No Jobs February, 2013 (34 KB)


from Jeff Grabelsky, Cornell ILR Worker Institute

There is a lot of discussion about the future of work. Here are two resources that I have found to be particularly useful in thinking about the evolution of work and its implications for the labor movement.

“It’s Not the 'Future of Work,' It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt,” by Sarita Gupta, Stephen Lerner and Joseph A. McCartin in The American Prospect (8/31/18) provides an important re-framing of the conversation. https://prospect.org/article/its-not-future-work-its-future-workers-doubt

Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary by Louis Hyman is an incredibly ambitious and thoughtful history that I think is the best book I’ve seen on the issue.

from Joe Varga (Indiana Unversity Bloomington):

"On the technology aspects of AI and worker redundancy, I've found MIT to be a good source. They have been studying the future of work for some time. I've pasted the website of their newly opened research center: