"Employees are not robots"

On the occasion of the centenary, the International Labor Organization issues its recommendations on the future of work on 22 January.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is 100 years old. The specialized employment agency of the United Nations – which brings together employers' organizations, trade unions and states – was founded in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles, according to the principle that there can be no social peace without social justice. "

To celebrate this anniversary, around 20 experts from all over the world – gathered in a World Commission on the future of work – worked for fifteen months on recommendations that could be valid in both Bangladesh and the Netherlands.

Opportunities and risks of new technologies

Their report, published on Tuesday, January 22, focuses in particular on the risks and opportunities of new technologies – artificial intelligence, automation and robotics – that disrupt the work world, beyond the issue of the balance between destruction and creating new technologies. jobs.

Employees struggling with Big Brother

Among the possibilities, experts note that mobile phones make it possible to learn more about and access job offers, especially for women in developing countries. Access to finance and credit through mobile banking is possible in the same spirit "Significant momentum for female entrepreneurship in the rural economy".

Technology can "Liberate the workers"

Technology can also "Freeing employees from hard work, dirt, toil, danger and deprivation"remembers the report. Collaborating robots can reduce work-related stress and possible injuries.

Provide sensors and artificial intelligence "Numerous opportunities to improve the work"The masses' collected data can help the employment offices to identify risky activities and improve labor inspection systems or to monitor working conditions and compliance with labor legislation throughout the supply chain.

Risk for privacy

But experts warn of respect for the privacy of employees. "New technologies generate large amounts of data about employees"they remind. That is why regulations must be drawn up to regulate their use. Companies must implement a policy of transparency and data protection so that employees know what is traced. The latter must also be kept informed of all checks carried out in the workplace and have access to all data relating to them.

interview: "Platforms have fed the success of self-employed entrepreneur status"

Experts are particularly vigilant about the economy of platforms "That could imitate the working methods of the nineteenth centurye century for generations of digital daily workers " . Certainly Uber et al "Provide new sources of income for many employees in different parts of the world",but the work is sometimes poorly paid, often under the applicable minimum wage.

International governance for platforms

"As this form of work is expected to grow in the future, we recommend the development of an international governance system for digital work platforms that provides a foundation for rights and protection and their customers to respect them". And the command to warn: "Work is not a commodity and workers are not robots".

Also read: Catholics and Muslims agree on their concept of work

Emmanuelle Réju

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