European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Plenary E: Working conditions

Tuesday 28 June, 16.00-17.45 Room: Belgium

In the context of digitalisation of the economy there is a big focus on the number of jobs that could be created as well as destroyed and much less focus on how the digitalisation of the economy can influence working conditions in a positive as well as negative manner. This session aims at setting out the main issues with regard to how digitalisation is (or will be in the future) improving or/and worsening working conditions in Europe and hence influencing the quality of work (working conditions, life-work balance, autonomy versus precarious jobs, impacts on social dialogue, health and safety at the workplace etc.) and what are the challenges of these trends for trade unions and workers.

Questions to be addressed are: What do we know about the impact of technology on working conditions from previous waves of technological changes? How could the digitalisation affect power relations at the workplace? How do algorithms alter how people work? What are the gendered aspects already in place that could be amplified? Is it all new, or are many of the issues longstanding and still awaiting answers? What is the role for trade unions in ensuring that working conditions are improved? Are there regional differences in how digitalisation will affect working conditions? Are there differences across different groups in society according to skill levels, gender and age?


  • Ursula Huws, Professor of Labour and Globalisation, University of Hertfordshire Business School - PRESENTATION
  • Simon Head, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, and of St Antony's College, Oxford
  • Jill Rubery, Professor of Comparative Employment Systems, Manchester Business School - PRESENTATION
  • Patricia Vendramin, Codirector of the Research Centre of FTU and invited professor at UCLouvain - PRESENTATION
  • Agnes Jongerius, MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Chair: Marie-Hélène Ska, General secretary CSC-ACV

Next: Plenary F: How to re-think labour law?

Previous: Plenary D: Employment

Interpretation available.


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