February 2024

  1. Are platform workers willing to unionize? Exploring survey evidence from 14 European countries

    06 February 2024

    This study contributes to the understanding of unionization in the platform economy, both in terms of membership rates among different groups of platform workers and the potential for unionization among those who are not yet members. The findings are based on a unique cross-national and comparative survey, dedicated to the analysis of various forms of digitally-mediated work and trade union-related behaviour, which allows for an explicit link between the platform economy and the conventional economy.

December 2023

  1. An unfinished task? Matching the Platform Work Directive with the EU and international "social acquis"

    20 December 2023

    This paper seeks to explore the key emerging regulatory dimensions of platform work. It contextualizes the challenges associated with platform work as an expression of the consolidated features that, in the past decades, have been transforming the labour market: non-standardization and the deregulation of employment relationships.

  2. A new social contract for the social media platforms: prioritizing rights and working conditions for content creators and moderators

    15 December 2023

    This paper describes the special challenges faced by content moderators and creators on digital labour platforms, including isolation, high workload, exposure to disturbing content, abuse and harassment and lack of job security. A new social contract should recognize the immense value of workers’ contributions, including those working in other countries for large Western corporations, and ensure fair compensation for their efforts. The paper outlines the potential contributions of governments, trade unions, employers and stakeholders.

  3. A new social contract: achieving social justice in an era of accelerating change in the agricultural sector

    15 December 2023

    Smart farming is predicted to solve global problems of food security by introducing digital technology to save production costs; however, by switching to the full use of technology it is displacing labour, as evidenced by several country studies presented in this paper. A new social contract would remedy the violation of workers’ rights and the lack of support from governments for sustainable smart farming. It should acknowledge the gaps between traditional and modern farming and integrate employment, social protection and sustainable development. The paper outlines the role of governments, trade unions and the ILO in this new social contract.

  4. Towards a European socio-ecological contract

    15 December 2023

    The paradigm change in our economic model that is needed to put human activity back within planetary boundaries requires a reparation of entrenched existing inequalities. It is also essential to avoid creating new inequalities on top of the old ones. While the concept of just transitions is promising for delivering on this objective, real-world implementation varies in its scope and scale, and existing policies are not much more than a patchwork. The post-war welfare state fails to address the new challenges. This paper describes the role of the ILO and other multilateral institutions, national governments and trade unions in a socio-ecological contract that works for all, provides affordable and effective social protection and reduces inequality, poverty and social exclusion.

  5. Social protection as a key component of the new social contract: a leading role for trade unions

    15 December 2023

    While social protection is recognized as a basic human right by virtually all governments and international institutions, in reality most of the global population still has no social protection coverage. The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) offers a blueprint for making social protection the centrepiece of a new social contract. This analysis takes a fresh look at Recommendation No. 202 in light of both the newly exposed weaknesses of existing social protection and recent government efforts to build social protection floors, and outlines the potential contribution of workers’ organizations to the UN/ILO Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions and the proposed global social protection fund.

  6. The world of work and the new social contract

    15 December 2023

    The social contract of the 1940s and 1950s followed the principle that citizens contributed to the common good – whether economically, socially or culturally – on the assumption that the state would ensure a minimum standard of living, provision of essential social services and infrastructure and the protection of their basic rights. Now, however, the global socio- economic context is characterized by a persistent and pervasive joblessness, insecure employment and working poverty, growing income inequalities and inadequate social protection coverage. This paper calls for a new social contract which reduces social inequality, promotes living wages and adequate working conditions and occupational safety and health. It calls upon governments to establish universal social protection systems that are resilient, effective, inclusive, adequate and sustainable over the long term.

  7. Why a new social contract is urgent?

    15 December 2023

    This article summarizes key aspects of the new social contract adopted by the ITUC 5th World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, in November 2022. The world needs the new social contract to replace the failing, inequitable and unsustainable economic model of today. At its 5th World Congress (Melbourne, November 2022), the ITUC adopted a policy and action statement that provides for action on three intersecting global challenges: climate change, public health and technology. It further defines six key workers’ demands on which the new social contract is based: jobs, rights, wages, social protection, equality and inclusion.

  8. Reflections on the new social contract

    15 December 2023

    This paper describes the pressures imposed on people and the planet by climate change, global conflict and the complex issues of inequality generated by past economic models. On the labour front, technological development and increasing automation have profoundly changed the industrial relations model and generated new opportunities and significant challenges for millions of workers. The paper outlines the response presented by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and international human rights instruments and calls for a new social contract that preserves the fundamental values of modern democracy and an integrated vision of labour that incorporates a rights-based approach and global solidarity.

  9. A new social contract: achieving social justice in an era of accelerating change (Executive Summary)

    15 December 2023

  10. A new social contract: achieving social justice in an era of accelerating change

    11 December 2023

    This 2023 edition of the International Journal of Labour Research (IJLR), aims to stimulate reflection on what a new social contract might entail and more specifically the role of workers’ organizations in engaging in the design and establishment of a new social contract within the multilateral system and at national level. Thus, the focus of this issue is both on what such a new social contract may entail and on what to do in terms of its implementation.

June 2023

  1. ILO Brief: Violations of fundamental principles and rights at work at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and in Enerhodar city in Ukraine, temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation

    01 June 2023

    Ukrainian trade unions report that fundamental rights of Ukrainian workers in the areas temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation are frequently and repeatedly violated.

March 2023

  1. Trade unions navigating and shaping change

    20 March 2023

    The experimentation and reorganization already taking place in the trade union movement today attest not just to the scale of the challenges involved, but also to the potential for significant change. New approaches are being adopted around the world and across several sectors. This study was designed to explore the emerging practices, approaches, capabilities and methodologies that can help trade unions to revitalize themselves by anticipating, navigating and shaping change.

  2. Digital technologies and trade union revitalization in the Arab States region

    07 March 2023

    As part of the “Trade unions in transformation: Actors for change” programme of the ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities, several regional studies have been commissioned to review innovative practices and positive experiences related to trade union revitalization. This paper explores the role of digital technologies in this process in the Arab States region, focusing on Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman. It discusses successful and innovative practices with a view to identifying lessons that are relevant to trade unions in other countries and regions as well.

November 2022

  1. Improving Workers' Data Rights

    28 November 2022

    The brief on Improving Workers’ Data Rights covers how workers’ data is collected and used in the context of changing workplace management practises and oversight instruments. It provides important recommendations for trade unions on opportunities and challenges towards collective action on safeguarding workers’ rights throughout the data lifecycle.

  2. Responsible Tech

    28 November 2022

    The brief on Responsible Tech focuses on the responsible usage of information technologies that trade unions should be considering in their own internal operations. It follows the recommendations made during the first two briefs by providing guidance on how trade unions can ask the right questions in terms of the usage of new technologies by its staff and members, data protection of trade union data, cybersecurity as well as exploring options to utilising responsible software to ensure the privacy and rights of its staff and members.

  3. Sustainable Algorithmic Systems

    28 November 2022

    The brief on Sustainable Algorithmic Systems provides an overview for trade unions how algorithmic systems are utilised in workplaces. It further discusses the degree of changes to management practices due to the increased levels of algorithmic decision making, its impacts on workers and provides pertinent recommendations to workers’ organisations on how to counter potential threats to workers’ wellbeing, working conditions and wages caused by the deployment of unregulated algorithmic systems.

October 2022

  1. ACTRAV Webinar Series on Trade Unions in Transition

    24 October 2022

    ILO's Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) has organized a series of webinars for trade union leaders in different (sub)regions of the world to discuss key challenges and opportunities for trade unions in transition. Such virtual seminars were held from June to December 2021.

September 2022

  1. Challenges of trade unionism in the face of new forms of work organization

    26 September 2022

    This article describes the structural characteristics of work in Latin America and the Caribbean, in which a pattern of subordination to the interests of capital accumulation and large transnational companies has historically predominated, generating a high level of informality, self-employment, scarcity of jobs and strong social, ethnic/racial and gender inequalities marked by disparities in labour incomes and exacerbated by the new forms of international division of labour.

  2. Trade union revitalization in the United States of America: A call for a labour movement programme in support of self-organizing workers

    26 September 2022

    From a peak of one third of the workforce in 1955 and still over 20 per cent in 1983, at present only 10.3 per cent of United States workers remain members of trade unions. A significant trend of worker self-organizing and formation of new independent unions has emerged, with little or no involvement of or support from existing unions. To have any significant impact, the labour movement must create a substantial, dedicated, grass roots-focused programme – a labour self-organizing workers’ support (Labor SOWS) programme – that will supplement, but not supplant, the needs of these self-organizing workers. This article argues for organized labour in the United States to play a major supporting role in this unique moment and thereby promote its own revitalization