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Communications Workers of America Applauds Labor Department’s AI Principles for Developers and Employers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, the Department of Labor released “Artificial Intelligence and Worker Well-being: Principles for Developers and Employers,” a set of guidelines developed with input from workers, unions, and others to assist with the ethical implementation of AI technologies in the workplace.

CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. issued the following statement:

Under the leadership of President Biden, the Department of Labor has developed principles for the use of AI in the workplace centered on the north star of worker empowerment. Our union endorses efforts to give workers a voice in how AI is implemented in the workplace so that these new technologies can enhance workers’ human creativity and contribute to shared prosperity.

The Department of Labor’s principles are designed to mitigate the stressful and dehumanizing impacts of poorly designed AI systems. Recommendations to ensure human oversight, transparency, and a commitment to protect labor and employment rights are necessary protections against the harmful applications of AI that have introduced algorithmic discrimination, surveillance, and management, leaving workers, particularly those without the safeguard of a union contract, with very little recourse if they are unjustly fired or disciplined.

CWA members across industries, including journalism, customer service, tech, higher education, healthcare, and others, have already built their expertise in AI’s impact in the workplace. Guided by the voices of America’s workers, we can promote American innovation that builds on workers’ expertise and protects rights and dignity in the workplace.

We also congratulate Senate Majority Leader Schumer for leading the Bipartisan Senate AI Working Group in the development of a bipartisan roadmap for AI policy in the Senate. CWA thanks Senate Majority Leader Schumer for ensuring that workers and their unions had a seat at the table in the development of this roadmap and we look forward to ensuring that strong worker protections are included as these policy priorities are translated into legislation.


About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields. @cwaunion

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