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Hotel Unions Fight Automation

As technology rapidly evolves and machine learning becomes stronger, many workers are being displaced by machines. The manufacturing sector has experienced this effect since the 1950s, but now, hotel workers are feeling the threat as major hoteliers like Marriott are rolling out technologies like Amazon’s Alexa in guest rooms, for example.

In an effort to slow the takeover, Unite Here, a union for hotel workers, is asking instead how technology can assist  workers’ duties, and that Marriott provides protections like giving 180 days notice before a new technology is deployed, and assisting any displaced worker in finding a new job.

The fear of robots’ takeover is substantiated by Mckinsey Global Institute’s report last year, predicting that technology would cause a 30% decline in jobs in the food and hospitality industry from 2017 to 2030, which parallels the 38% decline in manufacturing jobs witnessed from 1960 to 2012.


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