Factors of working life that impact on the quality of life for workers

From November 5-8 2019, a seminar was held in Marseille (France) on "Factors of working life that impact on the quality of life for workers", organised by the CFTC (French Confederation of Christian Workers), with the support of EZA and the European Union.

Too often, work is seen only as part of economic life; this materialistic vision converts human beings in a resource and not the goal of all activity. If work can have positive aspects (elevation of skills, participation in a common goal, ...) and if its deprivation (unemployment) is a painful loss of meaning for those it affects, it is imperative that it can be reconciled with the personal life and family space. However, the increasingly tight control of workers by new technologies, the increase in precariousness especially for the young and the elderly, the night or Sunday work and anxiety about employment impact, influence among others factors negatively the quality of life of workers both inside and outside the workplace.

The mission of this seminar was to establish a shared diagnosis and propose solutions.

35 representatives of workers' organizations from Cyprus, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Albania, Lithuania, Belgium, Canada (Quebec, as guests), Italy, Latvia and Romania participated in the seminar.

The seminar was chaired by Mr. Joseph THOUVENEL, vice-president of EZA and president of CFTC Paris

The following topics were discussed :

  • - “The main factors impacting on workers' lives” by Mr. Pierre-Yves MONTELEON (CFTC, France)
  • - “Impact of work on family life" by Mr. Antoine RENARD (European Catholic Family Associations)
  • - “Computers and new working relationships” by Mrs Jelena SOMS (LDF, Lithuania)
  • - “The problems in the agricultural professions" by Mr Pierre JARDON (CFTC, France)
  • - “How to approach the impact of professional factors on the quality of working life with social dialogue ”by Bernard VIVIER (IST, France)
  • - “Union action, a lever for workers' quality of life" by Mr. Vesselin MITOV (PODKREPA, Bulgaria)
  • - “The influence of the ILO on working conditions" by Mr. Bogdan HOSSU (CARTEL ALPHA, Romania)
  • - “Possibilities of influence of trade unions with European parliamentarians" by Mr. Claude ROLIN (CSC, Belgium)
  • - “Implication of the European Economic and Social Council for a better professional life" Mr. by Pierre-Jean COULON (CFTC, France)
  • - “Testimonials of good practices, the MATMUT agreement, mutual insurance company" by Mr. Florence LE MASSON (CFTC, France)
  •   The Portuguese experiences "by Mr. Afonso ISAIAS (FIDESTRA, Portugal)
  •  - “The Quebec model on the factors of professional life impacting the quality of life of workers" by Mr. François VAUDREUIL (CSD, Quebec)
  •  - “The impact of new technologies on the quality of life of workers" by Mr. Joseph THOUVENEL (CFTC, France)
  • Final comments of the seminar by Mr. Joseph THOUVENEL (CFTC, France).

Results of the seminar:

Final Conclusion :

Technologies and society developments have an impact on the professional field and therefore affect the lives of workers in all European countries regardless of their social or economic development level.

These changes, which form part of the normal evolution of society, must not be suffered as such but must be supervised for the benefit of integral human development. Otherwise, the employee becomes a cost element, an object in the service of production and consumption.

All the participants of the seminar are aware of the importance of Europe, the world's leading trading power, and believe Europe has a major role to play in building a more humane globalisation.

At the same time, the organisations here represented note that trade unionism is one of the important levers to attenuate or even eliminate the negative impacts of professional life on the lives of workers and their families. This includes the exchange of good practices and better solidarity based on respect of human rights and democratic values.


The impact of new technologies and new working methods must be evaluated, before they are introduced according to their foreseeable social and environmental consequences; an assessment must regularly be carried out jointly to measure the reality of the change and correct if necessary its negative aspects.

The active participation of employees and their representatives in the elements that affect their quality of professional life must be a major axis of social policies within the trade union.

The quality of life of workers must also take into account their quality of family life.