Social Conditions

Worker’s rights in the digital age

Christophe Degryse of the ETUI argues that, while digitalisation of the economy is inevitable, its effects on labour markets and working lives need to be managed carefully, otherwise we are in for an increasingly polarised and unequal society. The main concerns with digital platforms are the trend towards deregulation and the failure to comply with social legislation. It is difficult, […]

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    The Country-Specific Recommendations and the European Pillar of Social Rights – a step in the right direction?

The Country-Specific Recommendations and the European Pillar of Social Rights – a step in the right direction?

Stefan Clauwaert, the ETUI’s legal expert, has analysed the EU Commission’ s country-specific recommendations for 2018-2019, and argues that they show the clear influence of the European Pillar of Social Rights.  While this is a good sign, he argues that in several crucial areas they do not live up to the promise shown at the time that the CSRs were originally introduced. 

The […]

The Links between Market Power Concentration and Inequality

In this short review, Dustin Voss of the London School of Economics points out that monopolistic superstar firms tend to extract profits rather than to invest them into workers’ salaries and benefits or capital.

Corporate mergers are often painted as welcome happenings. Larger, more successful companies buy smaller ones to bolster their efficiency and infect them with a more productive […]

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    The impact of digitalisation on the quantity and quality of work. An Austrian perspective

The impact of digitalisation on the quantity and quality of work. An Austrian perspective

Reinhard Haider of the Upper Austria Chamber of Labour examines the labour market effects of digitalisation and the blurring of boundaries between work and private life. He argues that increased digitalisation and automation will significantly change and affect both the quality and quantity of jobs. New forms of jobs and employment in turn are affecting working conditions by altering […]

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    Knowledge abilities are the key to coping with the digitalisation of the workplace

Knowledge abilities are the key to coping with the digitalisation of the workplace

Sociology of Knowledge Professor Nico Stehr and LSE’s Dustin Voss criticise the current digitalisation debate that is dominated by naïve and simple calls for reskilling the workforce. Rather, we should focus on promoting so-called knowledge abilities to effectively empower employees to cope with a rapidly changing working environment.

In a recent Foresight Brief of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), Aìda […]

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    The World(s) of work in Transition: Managing the ‘Megatrends’ impacting Labour Markets and Society

The World(s) of work in Transition: Managing the ‘Megatrends’ impacting Labour Markets and Society

Steve Coulter of the ETUI and LSE suggests that the four ‘megatrends’ of globalisation, digitalisation, climate change and demographic transition should be analysed together, not separately. That way, common solutions may be found. For example, technology is both a disruptor (of companies and jobs) and solution (to climate change and an ageing population). Managing change cannot be left to the […]

Capitalism and socialism: Marx’s bicentenary

Bob Hancké of the LSE explains how Marx was capitalism’s greatest admirer as well as its sharpest critic

Imagine for a moment that Karl Marx had been born in 1806 instead of 1818. The 200th anniversary of his birth would have given rise to triumphant retrospectives in much of the right-wing press of the collapse of the Soviet system in 1989 […]

Is this time different? The social effects of automation

Bob Hancké of the LSE applauds a rare empirical study of the effects of automation on inequality

An interesting blog post here, with a link to a paper by David Hope (Kings College London) and Angelo Martelli (LSE). They examine the inequality effects of the ‘knowledge economy’. There are two important reasons why this is a very relvant piece of […]

Europe needs a pay rise and young Europeans need jobs

Steve Coulter of the European Trade Union Institute cautions that improving growth figures in the European Union mask widening regional disparities in GDP per head and real wages, while many of the jobs that have been created are part time and/or precarious. Action to sustain the modest recovery and share out its spoils should go beyond sustaining demand – […]

Social Partnership in Europe in the face of the future

Steve Coulter of the LSE examines the state of workplace cooperation in Europe and finds some cracks, as well as some shards of light, in the edifice of social partnership

Social partnership – or institutionalised co-operation between business and labour, sometimes overseen by governments – has been a feature of most European economies since the Second World War. Many informed […]