Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.
Volume 23 Issue 3, August 2017
The first issue of this Transfer double issue on digitalisation (2/2017 and 3/2017) focused mainly on the platform economy and the associated challenges for labour, looking at how the platform economy is restructuring the labour market and skill requirements. This second issue looks at broader issues, beyond the platform economy. As set out in the editorial of the first issue, digitalisation is set to transform society at large, transforming business models, the labour market and how productivity gains are distributed. While there is an ongoing debate on how big this transformative impact will be and how quickly or slowly it will occur, the literature seems to converge on the idea that digitalisation will transform demand for labour, skill requirements, work organisation, income volatility and tax bases – to mention just a few aspects. In this issue, all articles start out from the hypothesis that, although we do not yet know the extent, digitalisation will eventually lead to a decrease in demand for labour, an increase in atypical forms of employment and job polarisation and a decrease in the wage share. The articles address the regional effect on labour demand, the stability of demand and hence consumption, the gender aspect of digitalisation, and ways that trade unions and social partners have grappled with introducing technology in the workplace and how they have addressed the challenge of organising and representing workers in the gig economy.