Digital Technologies in Banking: A New Role for Trade Unions?

Caroline Lloyd (Cardiff University), Jonathan Payne and Secki Jose (De Montfort University) discuss trade union approaches to digitalisation in Norway and the UK.

Register here to attend


There has been much debate around digitalisation and its potential impact on work and employment, with a growing focus on the question of workers’ power to shape technological change. We argue that the role of trade unions is critical and requires addressing at multiple levels, including their ability to shape the national institutional and regulatory context, the sector through collective bargaining, and decisions at the workplace. This seminar discusses initial findings from a Leverhulme-funded comparative study of trade union approaches to digitalisation in Norway and the UK. The seminar focuses on two unions in the banking and finance sector. Drawing upon interviews with national officers and workplace reps in Norway and the UK, it examines how the unions engage with potential job losses and new forms of surveillance affecting customer service and administrative workers. It considers whether digitalisation processes offer a new role for unions and what differences emerge across countries and workplaces.


Caroline Lloyd is a professor in the field of work and skills at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. Her research interests include international comparisons of skills and work organisation, low wage work, digitalisation and the future of work.

Jonathan Payne is a professor of work, employment and skills at De Montfort University and Director of the People, Organisations and Work Institute. His research encompasses the political economy of skill, job quality, digitalisation and the future of work.

Secki P. Jose is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the School of Business and Law, De Montfort University, Leicester. His main research interests include the effects of the state and technology on work and employment.


Related publications on digital technologies by Lloyd and Payne:

Food for thought: Robots, jobs and skills in food and drink processing in Norway and the UK. New Technology, Work and Employment, early view;

Fewer jobs, better jobs? An international comparative study of robots and 'routine' work in the public sector. Industrial Relations Journal 2021 52(2), pp. 109-124.

Rethinking country effects: robotics, AI and work futures in Norway and the UK. New Technology, Work and Employment 2019, 34(3), pp. 208-225.