Democratic rep says labor unions don't have to be in conflict with technology

Rep. Andy LevinAndrew (Andy) LevinThe Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House The USMCA is an opportunity to keep our promises to working Americans Michigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees MORE (D-Mich.) said in an interview that aired Thursday on "Rising" that workers rights and labor unions do not have to be in conflict with technological developments. 

"The workers have an interest with the company, completely aligned at being the most up to date technologically, the most efficient, and so there's no reason that workers having power or unions has to be at all in conflict with racing into the future," Levin told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons. 

"If you look at countries where workers have real rights, they do not fear technological change," he said. "Take Sweden, 70 percent unionized. Swedish workers don't fear that if their company gets the latest technology, is the most efficient, adopts whole new processes, that their job's going to go away because they have a union contract which says it's not," he said.

"You're going to get retrained in that company," he added. 

Levin's comments come as unions have made headlines as Democratic presidential hopefuls work to appeal to the labor groups ahead of 2020. 

The only union to endorse a candidate so far in the Democratic primary is the International Association of Fire Fighters, which backed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry MORE in April. 

— Julia Manchester