Facing inequality at work. Atypical employment and social protection in Europe

Carmela Guarascio

Resumen


La digitalización y la automatización de la economía tienen un fuerte impacto en el mercado laboral (Brynjolfsson; McAfee, 2014: 11). El mercado laboral se está volviendo más flexible. La flexibilidad, por un lado, busca aumentar
la productividad laboral pero, por otro lado, tiene enormes consecuencias sobre los trabajadores, especialmente sobre las mujeres y en particular sobre su posibilidad de conciliar la vida laboral y familiar. De hecho, la flexibilidad
del mercado laboral, por un lado, aumenta el crecimiento de los trabajadores autónomos y promueve un cambio en la forma de trabajar, por ejemplo, cada vez es mayor el uso del trabajo inteligente; la emergencia de la pandemia Covid- 19 bien lo está demostrando. Por otro lado, la flexibilidad se combina con un factor creciente que está cambiando la forma de trabajar y las condiciones sociales de los trabajadores: el aumento de trabajos atípicos, como los falsos autónomos, TAW.

Sin políticas adecuadas para la seguridad de los trabajadores, la flexibilidad podría convertirse en inseguridad flexible, provocando necesidades sociales que las políticas deben atender. Un tema central es que el caso de los autónomos no solo está ligado a trabajadores y profesionales altamente calificados sino que podría estar ligado a trabajos atípicos, con una condición de trabajo intermitente, una baja productividad y una menor negociación colectiva. Esta condición se vincula fácilmente con una menor protección social para los trabajadores y unas condiciones laborales más frágiles.


Este artículo tiene como objetivo específico comprender los límites de la negociación colectiva en relación con los trabajos atípicos. Como caso de  estudio, el artículo analiza las cooperativas de actividad y empleo (CAEs) y un caso particular de una cooperativa europea “SMART”, que agrupa a trabajadores atípicos en general, y trata de compensar un problema de cobertura otorgándoles un contrato on-call, que se traduce como una oportunidad de acceso al sistema de bienestar. De esta forma, actúa como una política de bienestar indirecta y permite a los trabajadores acceder a beneficios sociales.

La metodología propuesta sigue un enfoque cualitativo que incluye entrevistas semiestructuradas. Se realizaron 8 entrevistas a actores privilegiados entre los que se encuentran el presidente europeo e italiano de la cooperativa SMART, cuatro trabajadores ICT y dos representantes de sindicatos.

La hipótesis es que más allá de la forma tradicional de asegurar la cobertura social, se podría construir una nueva forma de crear redes informales entre los trabajadores. Esto podría disminuir los problemas de flexibilidad, creando
un marco de seguridad flexible entre los trabajadores, especialmente entre las mujeres.

 

 

 

The flexibility of work and the increase of non-standard job, self-employed, bogus self-employed, TAW is a growing factor that is changing the way of working and the social conditions of workers. This is growing also due to the digitalization and automation of economy (Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, 2014:11).

Flexibility from one side, goes towards a reinforcement of work productivity, but on the other side it has enormous consequences on workers, especially women, in particular on their possibility to work-life balance. Without appropriate policies toward security of workers, in fact, flexibility might become flex-insecurity, causing social needs that policies need to take care of. The case of self-employed is not only linked to professionals, but it could be linked to a working condition that is intermittent, with a low-productivity and a lower collective bargaining.

The article has as specific goals to understand collective bargaining is structuring in relation to these new types of contract. It focuses on self-employees in general. As case study the article analyses the cooperatives of activities and employment (CAE) and a particular case of an European cooperative “SMART”, that put together atypical workers in general, and try to make up to a coverage problem giving them an on-call contract, and so giving them the possibility to access welfare system.  In this way it acts as an indirect welfare allowing workers to access social benefits.

The proposed methodology follows a mixed-method approach, including document analysis (legislation, collective agreements, policy documents and web pages of unions and employers), analysis of statistics and semi-structured interviews with trade union and employer representatives, mainly at the sector level. There are 8 interviews to privileged actors, among which the European and the Italian president of SMART cooperative, four ICT workers and two academic actors.

The hypothesis is that beyond the traditional way of assuring social coverage, there could be built a new way of creating informal networks among workers. This could decrease issues about flexibility, creating a framework of flex-security among workers, especially women.


Palabras clave


economía digital – negociación colectiva – inclusión social competencias – flexibilidad

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