New technology, trade unions and the future: not quite the end of organised labour

Martínez Lucio, M., Mustchin, S., Marino, S., Howcroft, D., Smith, H. (2021) Revista Española De Sociología (RES) / Spanish Journal of Sociology

This paper outlines different dimensions and historical features of the debate regarding worker organisations and the question of new technology at work. There has always been a tension between pessimistic views that highlight the difficulties established trade unions have had when responding to the use of new technologies by employers. However, there are a range of developments that suggest that trade unions and, also, broader networks of workers are responding to the introduction of new technology in terms of their use of regulation through the courts, for example, and innovative forms of bargaining as well as new forms of mobilisation, new forms of worker organisation, and innovative forms of communication. What is more, there are alternative legacies highlighting that worker responses to technological change is more complex and innovative although how these have evolved is another matter.

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