Les Entretiens France-BIT 2018

The future of work: More voice creates better decisions in enterprises

On the occasion of the 2018 France-ILO meetings, organized by the ILO and the French Ministry of Labour in Paris, the Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, addressed the importance of social dialogue in effectively managing changes in the world of work.

Statement | 12 October 2018
Madam Delegate of the Government of France to the ILO Governing Body, Anousheh KARVAR.
Ladies and gentlemen representing the social partners and the Labour Ministry.
Professor Alain SUPIOT.
Dear friends and colleagues.

As always, it is a pleasure for me to join you at the Entretiens France-BIT. As you know this is part of the Future of Work initiative, marking our Organization's Centenary, which is now just around the corner.

I should like to start by thanking the Ministry of Labour and the French Government for their support and, more generally, for their confidence in the ILO.

This conference is being held as part of the partnership we are developing with France. In 2015, with a view to our centenary, that partnership was extended to include a new component, namely research into the future of work. It is thanks to this initiative that we have been able to relaunch this discussion series, Entretiens France-BIT, along with associated research. It has also enabled the ILO Research Department to engage in new cooperation with the University.

Allow me also to express my gratitude to the Collège de France, which is once again hosting us at this exceptional location. I would like to thank Professor Alain Supiot in particular, not only for his involvement in our Global Commission on the Future of Work, of which he is a very active member, but also more generally for his lifelong commitment to research and advocacy for decent work, social justice, the fundamental rights of all human beings, the call for global social and economic solidarity. His work has inspired ours for many years and promotes the "spirit of Philadelphia".

Building on our previous Entretiens France-BIT; in today's deliberations we shall broach a subject that lies at the heart of both the ILO and the future of work - social dialogue, "More voice for better decisions in the enterprise".

The transformation of work is often accompanied by more individualized relations between managers and workers. In our first session today we will consider the challenges those engaged in social dialogue must overcome in terms of shifts in the organization of work at the workplace and new management practices.

The second session will consider the place of worker representatives in corporate governance, or+ more precisely, in enterprises, given the diverse forms they take.

The final session will discuss social dialogue from the point of view of global labour governance, with the development of global corporate social responsibility strategies and the conclusion of transnational agreements involving international trade union federations.

This conference is thus an opportunity to gauge changes in social dialogue as they relate to transformations in work. By giving voice not only to researchers but also to the stakeholders in the world of work – the ILO's tripartite constituents – I am sure that it will highlight the key role of those representing the world of work and of dialogue between them.

Indeed, social dialogue is first and foremost a democratic requirement. It is predicated on fundamental rights recognized in well-known ILO international conventions. But social dialogue is also a matter of global performance; it meets the needs of enterprises themselves in a context in which work is changing daily. We will see several examples of this over the course of the day.

Strengthening dialogue at all levels, from the enterprise through the various tiers of global supply chains, and transnational company agreements, is ultimately the best means of dealing with the uncertainties of the future, negotiating the changes required, and involving workers.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you every success in your deliberations today.