Negotiating for nearly 260,000 UPS employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is bringing an interesting debate to the table. Supposedly, in the details of their latest proposed labor agreement, there are demands that UPS do away with both drone deliveries as well as the use of autonomous vehicles. As most are aware, UPS, along with every other major delivery company has been experimenting with both these technologies. The Teamsters as well as others in the workforce are starting to see new technology as competition for their current jobs, a problem that could potentially land some in the unemployment lines. As I’ve traveled around the country and spoken about the wave of technology now on our doorstep, I have fielded similar questions and concerns. What happens when we start losing real jobs to technology? Also what happens to infrastructure and taxation? What happens when more people start driving electric vehicles that don’t stop and fillip with gasoline? Who is going to pay for the roads, bridges, etc… The opposite side of the argument is if the corporations drag their feet or are slow to adopt the latest technology they could lose a competitive edge, become less efficient and no longer competitive in price. What if the Teamsters can force the hand of UPS or create enough headwind that caused them to be slow to adopt or use the newest technology, would they be able to remain competitive? Or would UPS soon become one of the slowest and most cost prohibitive ways to ship, thus causing massive layoffs in the aftermath? Lets keep in mind, Amazon themselves recently announced they were considering entering the shipping space in order to take better control of its $20 billion dollar yearly shipping expense. Specifically, they are looking to have better control over its Prime membership delivers, which UPS currently handles. I feel like there are clearly more questions than answers right now regarding technology and the massive game-changing shifts that will soon be coming down the pipe across all sectors. Just take a moment and think about how many things could be dramatically impacted… Deloitte produced an interesting study a few years ago dispelling many of the myths about the end results of technology replacing human jobs. In the end they say that “technology” will ultimately create more jobs than it destroys. The problem is we are using conventional wisdom and thinking from the past and trying to apply it to the future. In other words, there will be jobs, just not the jobs we currently know and understand. Take a look at their study HERE. (Source: techdirt, WSJ, Fortune)

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