“It is imperative to act with urgency to seize the opportunities and address the challenges to shape a fair, inclusive and secure future of work with full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work for all.” These words are taken from the “Centenary Declaration” that was adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2019 to mark 100 years since the founding of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
There are two driving forces in particular that are the source of profound shifts: digitalisation and climate change. A third and entirely new phenomenon that did not arise until after the conclusion of the seminars presented in this publication is intensifying these forces: the COVID-19 pandemic.
But it is also true that the future of work has already begun, and workers’ organisations are already in the process of shaping it.
The challenges involved are numerous, diverse and far-reaching. This publication can therefore only address a limited number of aspects:
How is the use of new technologies changing the ways in which we work, organise work, and structure labour relations?
How many jobs, and of what kind, will come into being or disappear in the course of ecological restructuring in Europe?
How do social security systems need to be reorganised, and how should they be financed in the future?
These are only some of the questions about the future of work in response to which regulations must be set on the right course, transitions into work in the years ahead developed, and high-quality jobs achieved for all. It quickly becomes apparent that many developments require immediate solutions, but that workers’ organisations must at the same time be mindful of the complexity involved in this far-reaching change. However unintentional, there may also be some appeal in reading and reflecting on the descriptions, insights, conclusions and recommendations of this publication in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.