The working world is experiencing rapid change as a result of the ever greater use of digital technologies, and workers’ organisations are called upon to play a part in shaping these developments. The speed of change is not the only challenge here. It is the diversity of the changes, too, that creates difficulties for workers and therefore also workers’ organisations.
Action is required in relation to working hours, working conditions, social security systems, health protection in the workplace and work-life balance, to name but a few topics. But alongside these individual areas of social dialogue, fundamental aspects are changing, too. The type, scope and applicability of collective agreements are evolving as a result of a greater diversity of employment relationships. The working lives of employees who are now entering the workforce for the first time are likely to play out differently to in the past. The spheres of activity, structures and membership of workers’ organisations will not remain unchanged either. Workers’ organisations must adapt and reorient themselves, and develop strategies that will enable them to represent the interests of workers effectively in the working world of the future, and advance them accordingly in businesses, politics and society.
This publication offers examples of the ways in which these processes are taking place, the issues confronting workers’ organisations in Europe, and the ways in which they are addressing them.