U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI), Joe Donnelly (IN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) this week introduced legislation that would extend Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits, such as job training and reemployment services, to workers who lose jobs due to automation.
TAA helps workers who lose their jobs due to trade with foreign countries.
According to a Ball State University report, automation has caused more than 85% of manufacturing job losses in recent years.
Additionally, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report, automation could displace as many as 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030.
“As technology becomes an increasingly important part of our manufacturing sector, we must be prepared to address the evolving needs of workers in this new economy,” said Senator Peters. “I am proud to work with Senator Donnelly and Senator Gillibrand to introduce the Automation Adjustment Act, which would provide critical assistance to help ensure displaced workers have the opportunity to obtain new skills and continue earning a good living.”
“Hoosiers go to work every day to support their families, provide their kids with a good education, and retire in dignity, but a growing number of workers have lost their job due to automation,” said Senator Donnelly. “I believe these workers should be eligible for TAA benefits, so they can access the resources they need for job training or to find new employment or occupations. I’m proud to work with Senators Peters and Gillibrand on this legislation to support hard-working families as they navigate a quickly changing economy.”
“Technological advances are happening every day and we need to ensure that as those advances are happening, we are protecting our workers at every turn,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that would provide job training and assistance if workers lose their jobs to automation. I will always to fight in the Senate for reforms that will support hardworking New Yorkers and their families.”
The TAA for Automation Act also establishes an Advisory Commission to advise Department of Labor on occupations at risk of elimination due to automation. The Commission must also produce an annual report and foster collaboration with state workforce agencies.
The bill is supported by AFL-CIO, UAW, United Steelworkers and the Information Technology and Information Foundation.