(16 January 2019) The European Commission established a High Level expert Group to advise it on the impact of digital transformation on EU labour markets in May 2018. The European social partners were invited to present their views and have a discussion with the members of this group. The experts are to come with a report to the European Commission in Spring this year. It will inform a future Commission on possible steps to take.
The European intersectoral and sectoral partners had a common view on several issues regarding the impact of digitalisation and the labour market. It will effect different sectors and different groups of workers in a different way. Jobs disappearing, new jobs emerging and almost all tasks (job content) being effected. The trade union side underlined that the disruptive nature of digitalisation should be prevented, that workers should be involved and have a say on how it effects their work and workplaces. Social dialogue and collective bargaining are the way forward. We need a specific approach to platforms such that workers are covered by collective agreements and social protection. Funding for education, access for all to training, defining the skills and investing in infrastructure are important. A right to connect and disconnect, ensuring a positive impact on work-life balance and on the situation of women to deliver more equality are key issues. The union views on non-standard contracts different from the employers and between the employers. Unions demand stable work and contracts with decent wages and good working conditions. Precarity is to be addressed, reduced and avoided. EPSU underlined that unions and employers are addressing the impact of digitalisation on workers in a broad range of public services. An important dimension of our discussions concerns the impact on people that use the services. There are large differences between regions and countries and risks that many are left behind. Investment in public infrastructure to ensure all can benefit are urgently needed.
The EPSU General Secretary was part of the ETUC delegation. It further included representatives of IndustriAll-E and UNI-E. The meeting took place 11 January 2019, Brussels