Challenges for Labor in a World of Shifting Trade and Technology

Theme N°: 

We observe continued industry realignment, with the rise of production outside the old industry core, in the presence of regional trade integration, and continued cross-oceanic trade. This pressures long-standing labor relations, affecting unions and their political allies. At the same time the nature of work is evolving with continued automation, the rise of contingent labor, greater familiarity with remote work, and the ability to disperse production across national borders. New propulsion technologies will shrink engine and transmission production, with attendant plant closures. This will diminish the value of skills in ICE components, while calling for new skills in battery packs, power control and drive motors. The union footprint, particularly in North America, is already small, including only a portion of final assembly and an even smaller slice of component production. Is the share of "high road" jobs stable? How about compensation? short- and long-term job stability? Are managerial jobs still privileged, or are they too being eroded?

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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Juan Sebastian Carbonell, Lorenza MonacoGéry Deffontaines

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