Digitization Bring New Challenges For Trade Unions


The events of the past few months have clearly shown that trade unions still have many challenging tasks ahead of them. There was an urgent need for action in two areas in particular. There is a clear need for action both in the home office and in education. While there are hardly any legal regulations for the home office in most companies and countries, the education system suffers on several fronts. The schools are not technically well equipped. Besides, there is a lack of corresponding software packages that enable teaching at home. Finally, low-income families, in particular, cannot cope with this situation. They lack space, knowledge, and the necessary equipment.

From 0 To 100 In Digital Learning

Even months later, there has been little progress in converting to digital learning. Here and there the states have donated technical equipment, but this usually reaches its limits immediately. Schools are not ready for digital learning. There is a lack of simple things, such as sufficient power outlets and a fast internet connection. You can change that quickly, but the changeover will fail without appropriate teaching programs. Numerous parents and teachers have experienced this firsthand in recent months.

Politicians and trade union representatives meet regularly, but implementation takes far too long. Besides, those affected have to struggle with the fact that many different bodies are responsible. It will take even longer for all sides to agree on implementation. Union representatives are currently assuming that it will be months before the situation becomes reasonably practical. The forced switch to digitization has already worked much faster in the companies.

New Boom At Home Office

The home office was frowned upon in many corporations, but that has changed dramatically. Anyone who had a PC, a good Internet connection and enough space could get started right away. After half a year of practice, numerous companies have rediscovered the advantages of the home office. But the problems that the form of work poses for employees have not yet been resolved. After all, work and private life are merging more and more. The constant availability of the employees becomes the standard. Here unions are required to register and to show limits. Together with the legislator, it must be possible to create rules for home office and to prescribe them by law.

Home Office
Home Office

But these reforms will also take time. They are all the more urgent as numerous families have to cope with digital learning with their children in addition to the home office. In such a situation, space quickly becomes scarce. At the same time, likely, there will not be enough computers available for all members of the family. That puts everyone involved in another difficult situation. Unions can help develop and build them up. However, the implementation must not only be possible in theory but also practice. Therefore the representatives of the employees have to get more involved in the discussion. That will largely determine the future.