EU must actively shape digitalisation

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The European Union must shape the digitalisation of Europe’s economy and society much more actively, with policy initiatives to avoid massive job losses and ensure the creation of quality jobs and decent working conditions, said the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

A resolution, adopted by national and European trade union leaders gathered in Brussels today, calls for

  • A Directive on privacy at work;
  • An EU Framework on crowd-working to maintain minimum pay rates, working time, social protection and fair taxation;
  • A big increase in skills education and training, including continuous occupational training within companies and services;
  • A major effort for getting more women into ICT, maths, science, technology and engineering – both in universities and companies;
  • Action to avoid digitalisation creating a few winners and many losers, and contributing to even more inequality of wealth.

“Digitalisation is an existential challenge for workers and the trade union movement” said Peter Scherrer, ETUC Deputy General Secretary. “It cannot simply be left to the market, but must be shaped by the EU, national and regional authorities, and employers in negotiation and partnership with trade unions. Europe has to seize the opportunity, but without being blind to the risks.”

“The European Commission has come late to what it should do about digitalisation, and I am alarmed it does not seem worried about potentially massive job losses, or talk about the need to ensure a transition towards fair and good digital work.” 

The resolution notes that digitalisation could

  • provide many new jobs and stimulate economic recovery; liberation from dangerous, monotonous and repetitive tasks; and enable a better work-life balance;
  • wipe out many jobs, lead to more insecure and precarious work, and a loss of privacy and control over personal data.

There will be a major conference on digitalisation ‘Shaping the new world of work’ organised by the ETUC and ETUI in Brussels on 27-29 June with speakers Jeremy Rifkin, Commissioners Thyssen and Oettinger, EFJ GS Ricardo Gutierrez and many others. For more information see http://www.etui.org/Events/Shaping-the-new-world-of-work.-The-impacts-of-digitalisation-and-robotisation

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