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Darren speaks to Bristol Cable about the impact of AI and automation

Darren spoke to the Bristol Cable – Bristol’s independent, cooperatively owned newspaper – about the impact of artificial intelligence and robots on society.

Writing on Facebook about the interview, Darren said that

The impact of AI and automation will be felt – these are issues that will affect all of us. It’s time the government properly engaged and understood the opportunities and risks of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Burying their heads in the sand won’t protect our data or hundreds of thousands of jobs.

You can read the full interview here: https://thebristolcable.org/2018/06/artificial-intelligence-robots-and-the-future-of-society-interview-with-darren-jones/

 

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Darren congratulates Marvin and his team for Bristol making Channel 4 shortlist

Channel 4 have started looking for cities to host their new national headquarters. Thanks to the work of Bristol City Council, led by Labour’s Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Bristol are on the shortlist. On Facebook, Darren congratulated Marvin:

Great news! Well done to Marvin Rees and the team for getting us this far. Now to secure Channel 4 in Bristol!

You can read more about the shortlist here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/may/30/channel-4-cities-national-hq-birmingham-manchester-glasgow-liverpool-leeds.

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Darren calls for new Anti Modern Slavery measures in Bristol

On Facebook, Darren wrote:

Bristol has had real issues with modern slavery: car washes and nail bars can be hotspots. I’ve written to the Gangmaster’s and Labour Abuse Authority to ask them to licence these businesses in Bristol, to make sure they treat workers properly. I’ll also be hosting a Modern Slavery-focused event in June to continue to raise awareness of these issues to the local business community.

You can read the full letter here:
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Darren signs letter to Prime Minister about Sainsbury’s pay cuts

Sainsbury’s are planning to reduce the income of 13,000 of their staff. Darren signed a letter to the Prime Minister, asking her to stand up and ask Sainsbury’s to halt this change. Here’s what Darren wrote about this letter on Facebook:

Ordinary people work hard to keep Sainsbury’s running. It’s unfair that 13,000 them could see their income slashed by up to £3,000 a year. That’s why I signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking that she calls on Sainsbury’s to halt this change.

 And here’s the letter itself:

Dear Prime Minister,

Taking home a fair wage should be the very least that a hardworking employee deserves.

That’s why we are appalled that unscrupulous contract changes at high street retailer Sainsburys will see 10% of their staff lose up to a staggering £3,000 per year.

Sainsbury’s is one of the high street’s most longstanding and well-respected brands. The pay rise that some of their employees will receive under these proposed changes should be welcomed. But under no condition should this be to the detriment of the estimated 13,000 employees who are set to see their wages slashed. We are completely dismayed that a company of Sainsbury’s reputation would use an increase in basic pay as a smokescreen for a whole array of deplorable decisions that will hit hardest their most dedicated, loyal and long-term staff.

Under the proposed changes, all employees will lose their paid breaks, there will be widespread cuts to premium pay including a shortening of nightshift premium hours and a scrapping of Sunday premium pay, and shop floor staff will no longer receive bonuses. However, the scrapping of the bonus scheme will not affect the CEO, Mike Coupe, or his fellow management team. Staff describe morale at the store as at an ‘all time low’, with many concerned that they cannot afford to stay in the job that they love, despite having worked at the organisation for decades.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, you assured the House that you would look at this issue, recognising the hard work that these staff put in day in and day out. We ask that you speak directly with the Chief Executive and call on him to ensure that no staff will face a pay cut under his contract changes, showing a fraction of the loyalty to his staff that they have shown to him.

At the time of writing, over 104,000 colleagues and customers have signed a petition at https://www.change.org/p/support-sainsbury-s-shop-floor-staff-s-working-rights-we-re-not-in-the-money calling on Sainsbury’s to reconsider their position. We acknowledge that this is a commercial decision, but, as a Prime Minister who actively calls for workers’ rights to be upheld, we ask that you join these signatories and stand up for the hardworking, longstanding and loyal Sainsbury’s staff who are being asked to work well for less.

We look forward to hearing what action you have taken on this issue.

Yours Sincerely,

Siobhain McDonagh MP

Co-Signatories:

Robert Halfon MP

Sir David Amess MP

Jeremy Lefroy MP

Tom Brake MP

Christine Jardine MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Stewart McDonald MP

Patricia Gibson MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Martyn Day MP

Neil Gray MP

Ben Lake MP

Rebecca Long Bailey MP

Tom Watson MP

Laura Pidcock MP

Ed Miliband MP

David Lammy MP

Frank Field MP

Joanne Platt MP

Joan Ryan MP

Luciana Berger MP

Wes Streeting MP

Liz Kendall MP

Stella Creasy MP

Karen Buck MP

Owen Smith MP

John Grogan MP

Jon Cruddas MP

Diana Johnson MP

Ian Murray MP

Virendra Sharma MP

Jo Stevens MP

Kerry McCarthy MP

Teresa Pearce MP

Stephen Morgan MP

Jeff Smith MP

Paul Flynn MP

Clive Betts MP

Madeleine Moon MP

Ronnie Campbell MP

Darren Jones MP

Helen Hayes MP

Susan Elan Jones MP

Thelma Walker MP

Jim Cunningham MP

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

Ian Mearns MP

Kate Green MP

Mohammad Yasin MP

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Alex Sobel MP

Paul Blomfield MP

Justin Madders MP

Paul Farrelly MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Kate Hoey MP

Rosie Duffield MP

Helen Jones MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Ian Austin MP

Gill Furniss MP

Stephen Pound MP

Kate Hollern MP

Marsha De Cordova MP

Gareth Thomas MP

George Howarth MP

Ellie Reeves MP

Mary Creagh MP

Paul Sweeney MP

Mike Kane MP

Grahame Morris MP

Vernon Coaker MP

Meg Hillier MP

Matt Western MP

Rachael Maskell MP

Stephen Twigg MP

Valerie Vaz MP

David Hanson MP

Tulip Siddiq MP

Gloria De Piero MP

Chris Elsmore MP

Steve Reed MP

Liz Twist MP

Emma Reynolds MP

Gareth Snell MP

Mark Hendrick MP

Anna McMorrin MP

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Julie Cooper MP

Jack Dromey MP

Jared O’Mara MP

Barry Sheerman MP

Naz Shah MP

Matthew Pennycook MP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Daniel Zeichner MP

Fabian Hamilton MP

Anna Turley MP

Ruth Cadbury MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Graham Stringer MP

Roger Godsiff MP

Gerald Jones MP

Mike Amesbury MP

Karen Lee MP

Maria Eagle MP

Helen Goodman MP

Debbie Abrahams MP

Sandy Martin MP

Danielle Rowley MP

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Bristol is the UK’s most productive digital tech city

A report has named Bristol as the city with the most digital tech turnover per worker. According to the report, which was produced by Tech Nation –  – Bristol’s digital tech turnover stands at £320 K per worker.

What’s more, this news means that Bristol’s digital tech industry is having a significant impact, with 26,999 digital tech jobs currently in Bristol.

Commenting on the news, Darren said that this was ‘another record breaking Bristol tech headline’.

You can read more about the report here, in an easy to use format – https://technation.io/insights/report-2018/bristol/

 

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Darren asks Government to get guarantees on GKN

GKN is a large firm which has just been taken over by Melrose, who have a record of liquidating firms.

GKN have two sites in the Bristol area, both of which are related to their Aerospace division. Melrose have guaranteed that they won’t sell off this part of the business for five years. But other Aerospace businesses based in the UK reliant on GKN’s presence say that they need this guarantee to be over five years, so they can plan ahead.

Watch what  Darren said, and what the Government had to say in reply, below:

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Darren to host Modern Slavery event in Bristol

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his continued support to the victims of modern slavery as a new bill makes its way to the House of Commons.

Darren said:

“ There are an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 people in modern slavery in the UK, however many experts agree that’s a huge underestimate. I’ve been championing their rights since becoming Bristol North West’s MP. I’ll continue to do that by supporting Lord McColl’s Private Members Bill when it comes through the House of Commons.

Victims need support over a longer period of time (than the current 45 days stipulated by government) to recover and be able to take the opportunities that programmes such as Co-op’s Bright Future provides. Only with support will victims regain control of their lives through paid employment.

I often meet victims at my surgeries – so this is an issue I take extremely seriously. I’m also fighting unethical working practises wherever I see them including tipping etiquette in restaurants, changes to Asda employee’s terms and conditions and the hostile takeover of GKN amongst others.

I’ll be hosting an event in June to continue to raise awareness of these matters and support local businesses to work with partners across Bristol, and further afield, to stamp out modern slavery in our city”.

You can read more about the Co-op and Global Citizen campaign here.

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Darren speaks to BBC about Melrose takeover of GKN

With the Government having waved through the US takeover of GKN – a firm employing nearly 2,000 people in and around Bristol – Darren was asked to talk about this on BBC Bristol. There are concerns around the impact of this takeover on jobs, defence (GKN is an Aerospace manufacturer, amongst other things) and other companies who rely on GKN for supplies.

Listen to the full interview here:

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Darren supports Channel 4 move to Bristol

Darren attended a Channel 4 event to make the case for Bristol being a Channel 4 creative hub. Here’s what he had to say about this, speaking to the Bristol Post:

We are going full-hog for this. They are consulting with staff about who would like to move and I have spoken to a lot of Channel 4 staff who are thrilled at the prospect of moving to Bristol.

Bristol is attractive for people who work at Channel 4. It is close to London and we have a centre of expertise in terms of the creative industries and links with the BBC. We tick all the boxes.

You can read the full article here: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/…/bristol-pushing-forward-bec…