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With the computer revolution, the workplace has seen a rapid introduction of digital technologies for gig work, remote work, surveillance, and algorithmic management of workers.
Some of the consequences of this transition have become clear. For instance, digital technology has facilitated a split in the labour market, with jobs increasingly ‘lousy or lovely’. But contrary to employment status and precariousness, what is less obvious are the effects of digital tech on the nature of work itselfacross the labour market.
It has already been shown that ubiquitous surveillance causes stress and anxietyamong workers and decreases trust in the workplace. There are also emerging signs that the use of algorithmic decision-making systems is accompanied byprofound shifts in workplace management, the exercise of power, and workers’ rights. This is especially visible in the platform economy but is spread widely across the economy, including in more ‘traditional’ sectors.
Challenges of algorithmic management
This public event brought together researchers, policymakers, trade unionists and other stakeholders from the Nordic countries to discuss:
The challenges that algorithmic management poses for safeguarding workers’ rights
The potential threat the developments of digital technologies pose to the Nordic model
The extent to which the tech revolution is being felt by the work force in Sweden
The political implications of those developments at both the Swedish and European levels
Among the speakers
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, MEP, European Parliament and rapporteur for a European strategy for data
Maria Arkeby, Deputy manager, Tankesmedjan Tiden
Elisabeth Brandt Ygeman, LO
Jan-Erik Støstad, Secretary General, SAMAK
Johan Sjölander, Manager, Tankesmedjan Tiden
Gunilla Svantorp, Member of the Riksdag, Social Democratic Party Sweden
Antti Alaja, Researcher, University of Helsinki
FrederickHarry Pitts, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Director of Business Engagement & Innovation in the Department of Humanities & Social Science, University of Exeter
Birte Dedden, Director for ICTS, UNI Europa
Thorben Albrecht, Policy Director, IG Metall
Lauri Finér, Director at Kalevi Sorsa Foundation
Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard, Director of the think tank Cevea
Jenny Wrangborg, Swedish Union of Commercial Workers
Fredrik Söderqvist, Economist, LO Sweden
Victor Bernhardtz, Swedish Trade Union Unionen, Ombudsman för Digital Markets
Anna Spånt Enbuske, Research Officer, Swedish Kommunal
Bertil Rolandsson, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, Göteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights responsible for improving the labour conditions of platform workers and the directive that addresses transparency and oversight of platforms’ algorithms
Tereza Østbø Kuldova, Research Professor based at the Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University
Anna Milanez, Economist, OECD
Johanna Wenckebach, Director, Hugo Sinzheimer Institut for Labour
Samuel Engblom, Former Swedish state secretary responsible for higher education, research and space policy
Linda Larsson, Researcher, LO Sweden
Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Digital Policy analyst
FEPS, Tankesmedjan Tiden, Kalevi Sorsa Saatio, Tankesmien Agenda, CEVEA, Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd (ECLM), Friedrich-Ebert-StiftungNordics and Cooperation Committee of the Nordic Labour Movement (SAMAK), with the support of Nordics trade Unions, came together for a Digital Research Programme to discuss the research questions, methods and approaches of the different research strands:
Algorithmic management and governance (prevalence & consequences)
Workers’ experience at the workplace – surveys and focus groups
In Social Europe' article, Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Policy Analyst on Digital, talks about the efforts to regulate AI undertaken by the EU and highlights the importance to grasp this opportunity to set the rules for a human-centric approach
Rapid grocery worker conditions are worsening, states report
by The Grocer 30/05/2023
The findings of our FEPS study on the quick-commerce sector and the conditions of rider workers were picked up by the UK-website 'The Grocer’.
Quick commerce – not turning a fast buck
by Social Europe 15/05/2023
Article on Social Europe by the authors of 'Back to the Dark Ages?' FEPS Policy Study about the quick-commerce workers' rights.
Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries
by euobserver 30/03/2023
EUobserver on the ultra-fast grocery deliveries and our policy study 'Back to the Dark Ages? Quick Commerce and the changing landscape of retail work', published in collaboration with Uni Europa.
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