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The German trade union’s discourse on AI : the last defenders of the workforce?

Deters, Henning (2023) The German trade union’s discourse on AI : the last defenders of the workforce?

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Abstract:The influential position of German unions reaches far back to the beginnings of the democratization of labor. With the emerging AI revolution, a young discourse begins to unfold ever since the publication of the German national AI strategy. This paper researches the dynamics of the union discourse on AI by deconstructing the narratives and the most dominant frames of union communication. A content analysis approach detects both hopes and fears regarding AI implementation in the workplace, revealing an ambivalent discursive behavior. German unions identify corporate interests that drive the public discourse, pointing out the risk of the potential restriction of workers' rights and a further power shift from technologically pressured workers to profit-oriented businesses. In addition to the workforce's fate, German unions face yet another technological development that contests their influential position. By remaining diplomatic in their communication, German unions seek to leave room for cooperation with political decision makers. Thus, the implementation of AI as a technological challenge is overshadowed by a power struggle that continues the institutional challenges of German unions in the age of digitization.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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