Digital transformation and the trade unions strategy

The future of work is now! How prepared are the trade unions?

Digitalisation, automation, new forms of work, online platforms, algorithms, Big Data etc. These are the buzz words of the moment, but what practical impact will these trends have on the world of work and are the current policy responses from governments and the social partners adequate to deal with this fast changing landscape?  

The EESC Workers' Group organises an event to present our most recent study Overview of the national strategies on work 4.0: a coherent analysis of the role of the social partners.

The study, carried out by Anna Byhovskaya from the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OEDC (TUAC), examines the impacts of digital transformation on the future of work, looking at core concepts including digital transformation, the digital economy and industry 4.0. It argues that three issues: automation, changing working conditions and online platforms, deserve immediate policy responses and attention from the social partners.

The second part of the study focuses on social partner and trade union actions. It analyses the role of social dialogue and the workers' voice in shaping the work of the future. Drawing on seven national case studies (Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and the UK), the study also considers the extent to which trade unions have been involved in national strategies regarding Work 4.0 and Industry 4.0, looking at both bi-lateral social partner activities and unilateral trade union actions. Finally, the study makes recommendations on the lessons to be drawn from the current policy discussions and for the future scope of the social dialogue.

Following the presentation of the study, there will be a panel debate with Gabriele Bischoff, Workers' Group President, Thiebaut Weber ETUC Confederal Secretary, Franca Salis Madinier, Workers' Group member and rapporteur of the EESC opinion "EU concepts for transition management in a digitalised world of work", and Lieve Verboven, Director of the ILO Office to the EU and the Benelux countries, and a general debate with the Workers' Group members.

A "networking drink" will follow.