Best practices in unionisation, collective bargaining and employee involvement in the green and digital sectors and the green and digital transitions

Project description:

Digitalisation is transforming the EU economy and labour markets: nearly one-third of EU workplaces are categorised as highly digitalised. The COVID-19 pandemic has further spurred an unprecedented demand for digital solutions and accelerated the digital transformation of many organisations globally. Digitalisation and automation have both positive and negative effects for the economy and society. Digitalisation in the form of automation (human tasks replaced by machines), the use of AI-applications and digitisation (digital production processes) or the emergence of new forms of work like platform work are affecting employment, job quality, the rise of precarious workers and working conditions as well as social dialogue. Thinking ahead and involving unions at sectoral, branch and company level is fundamental. While the involvement of employees in industrial transitions might mediate and mitigate the negative effects of digital change, the further weakening of unionisation, the erosion of collective action and the decrease in bargaining coverage is also an important risk of digitalisation, a concern raised by trade unionists. On the other side, trade unions themselves are going ‘digital’. Smart union approaches to support workers and, eventually, collective bargaining (e.g. in the IT sector) are already emerging. In addition to digitalisation, climate change and the transition to a climate-neutral economy is also high on the agenda at both Union and Member State levels. The green transition will 2/5 have (and is already having) a big impact on all sectors, either directly or indirectly. This will transform the EU economy and labour markets. Old industries that transition to green industries do not necessarily stay in the region. They might leave the region and jobs will be relocated. In coping with these consequences, social partners could and should address the adverse effects of climate policies and measures in sectors and regions affected most by the green transition.


Objectives of the project:

The aim of the study is to provide members of the committee examples, in which trade unions are involved and successfully contribute and accompany

  1. a) the digital change at company level
  2. b) the transition to low carbon-emitting ways of production, as well as how their involvement improves working conditions of workers in those sectors.


The experts will carry out the following tasks:

  1. Provide an up-to-date overview on:
    1. existing research on how technological change unfolds in the workplace and its various implications on workers and workplaces, including specific impacts on women and other vulnerable groups
    2. social policies mitigating the green transition
    3. the potential of employee involvement and unionisation in technology adoption
  2. Collect data on particularities of social dialogue and collective bargaining in the digital and green sectors
  3. Give an overview of strategies and agreements of social partners at EU, national and sectoral level on digitalisation and the green transition
  4. Draw conclusions and policy recommendations, as well as review the role of EU legal and financial instruments to identify possible gaps and issues


Project funding: European Parliament

Project leader: Visionary Analytics

Project partners: CASE

Project coordinator: Magdalena Wiśniewska

Experts: Agnieszka Kulesa, Dominik Owczarek, Barbara Surdykowska, Jan Czarzasty, Boris Najman, Žilvinas Martinaitis, Pablo Sanz de Miguel, Audronė Sadauskaitė, Feliciano Iudicone, Jan Bednorz, Ildar Daminov, Julija Skerniškytė