Employment and labour relations: between segmentation and convergence

Theme N°: 
4
Coordinator/s

 
How will the four “revolutions” of EVs, new mobilities, autonomous and connected cars and factories of the future influence the employment and work in the automotive sector?
 
For instance, how important will be the restructuring process entailed by the eventual reduction and/or end of internal combustion engines’ production? Will it be compensated by the development of electric engines and batteries’ production? Where is this production going to take place (how will the geography of the regional and global automotive production be affected)? Will it be less prone to relocations, as some have suggested?
 
If ICT companies will capture an increasing part of the value produced by the automotive sector how will this trend affect the distribution of this value to workers and which impact will it have on employment? Service jobs are, in general, of a much worse quality than manufacturing jobs: how does this apply to the “servitization” of the automotive industry? For instance, how can we characterize employment and working conditions in new “disruptive” companies such as Tesla, Uber, Blablacar, etc.? Is the trade-off between manufacturing and service jobs positive or negative?
 
Beyond the products and their transformations, what are the prospects of a fourth industrial revolution in the automotive sector through the diffusion of digital technologies in manufacturing? How are/will/might co-robots, digitalization of the value chains, Internet of Things, additive manufacturing and augmented reality impact automotive manufacturing? Can we anticipate how the diffusion of these new technologies will change employment and work in the automotive sector both in mature and emerging countries? What are the main debates and controversies concerning these expected transformations of work and employment at national and regional level? How will trade unions and government agencies problematize these issues? Are there, notably, alternative paths of development concerning the nature of these transformations (more control vs. more autonomy, more efficiency vs. more flexibility, etc.)? How do these transformations in manufacturing processes interact with the other “revolutions” in product architectures and features? 
 
Papers addressing these, as well other issues concerning the on-going transformations of employment (polarization, segmentation, reduced job security, etc.) and work (intensification, upgrading, digitalization, etc.) in the automotive sector (including R&D and engineering jobs and activities) are welcome.
 
- The future of work in the automotive sector (Tommaso Pardi, Jorge Carrillo, Martin Krzywdzinski)
 
Since February 2016, Gerpisa has started a three year project under the umbrella of the International Labour Organization to explore the transformations and future of work in the automotive sector and the conditions that will allow for the progress of social justice in line with the ILO Century Project (http://www.ilo.org/century/lang--en/index.htm).
 
Under this sub-stream we seek papers that focus on this and related topics, such as the development and preservation of decent jobs in the global automotive value-chain, and how the current transformations of the organization of work and production and of the governance of work affect these outcomes at regional, national and firms’ levels. A special focus will be given this year to the issue of “de-globalization” in the automotive sector.
 
The first ILO sponsored report on “The future of work in the automotive sector. The stakes of (de)globalization” will be presented by Tommaso Pardi during the colloquium; other collective publications of selected papers will be announced soon.
 

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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Géry Deffontaines

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