From June 21st to 24th 2018, a seminar on "New forms of employment and working methods: the impact of new technologies on employment" took place in Vienna/Austria. It was organized by the CFTC (Confédération Française des TravailleursChrétiens) with the support of EZA and the European Union. The seminar was part of the coordination of EZA projects on "New Industrial Relations: Digitisation and trade union strategies". 34 representatives of workers' organisations from Cyprus, Austria, Bulgaria, Bulgaria, France, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Albania and Lithuania took part in the seminar.
The industrial revolutions of the past have survived the initial fears that preceded them, despite painful transitions. Can the same development be expected for today's new technologies or not?
This new evolution presents us with anthropological and ethical problems. What significance must be attached to work and economic activity?
Europe, far removed from the ideal of the founding fathers, today supports the only law of the market, ultraliberalism. Will man be at the service of the machine or vice versa? These fears are very present.
What kind of society do we want to build in Europe and in the world? We must assert ourselves as actors, make a common diagnosis and act in accordance with our Christian social values.
The following topics were addressed:
- Welcome speech by Norbert SCHNEDL (GÖD, FCG, ÖGB; Austria)
- Effects of new technologies: current situation and prospects in Austria, Cyprus, Poland and Serbia: Alfred GAJDOSIK (FCG, Austria), Diomides DIOMIDIOUS (DEOK, Cyprus), Ewa KEDZIOR (Solidarnosc, Poland) and Njegos POTEZICA (Administrative Union, Serbia).
- "Effects of New Technologies on the Future of Man" by Joseph THOUVENEL (CFTC, France).
- "Governance and regulation of platforms" by Odile CHAGNY (researcher at IRES, France).
- "The social protection of workers in France" by Pierre JARDON (CFTC, France).
- The influence of new technologies on the personal development of workers" by Frédéric BERDEAUX (Labour and Personnel Law Consultant, France).
- "The situation in Albania" by Bibil KASMI (SAUATT, Albania).
- "Platform worker: ÖGB initiatives and visions" by Andreas GJECAJ (FCG, Austria).
- "New industrial relations: Digitisation and Strategies of Trade Unions" by Jelena SOMS (LDF; EZA; Lithuania).
- Preparation of proposals by 3 sub-groups on the topics: Balance of lifetimes, social protection and precarity" under the coordination of Cécile BLONDELON (CFTC, France).
- The seminar was concluded by Joseph Thouvenel (CFTC, France).
- Consideration of the economic subordination of the employee and not of a fictitious status in practice as a self-employed person. Ensuring the social protection to which they are entitled. Creation of a legal framework going beyond the national framework by identifying the person exercising economic control over the employee.
- Ensuring an adequate basis for financing social protection and contributing to the financing of public expenditure on new activities.
- Monitoring the algorithms and requiring their public transparency in order to know and assess the values and objectives of their authors.
- Consideration of the consent of individuals to the possession of data. Resisting constant monitoring of workers and guaranteeing their right to disconnect.
- Give absolute priority to lifelong education and training. Identifying resources primarily targeted at the unemployed and unskilled. Tackling the threat of polarisation of society.
- Working towards the definition of European minimum requirements in this field.
Effects on work
To put the human being at the centre of our actions, in all its dimensions, including the spiritual.
Rejecting inevitabilities: History has always been the result of human will (or indifference or even cowardice).
The world of tomorrow will be what we make of it. Let us affirm our ideals and work in accordance with our Christian-social values.