Telework poses a risk to social dialogue

Does teleworking distance employees from their union representatives? Does distance lead to a weakening of social dialogue? Before the health crisis, this was not the case: according to a survey published in 2017, teleworkers were, at the time, neither more hostile nor more indifferent towards the unions than their colleagues present on the premises of the company, in all areas of union life: participation in meetings, collective actions, voting in professional elections.

The crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic has changed the situation. “Teleworking now goes hand in hand with fewer contacts with staff representatives”notes the political scientist Tristan Haute, lecturer at the University of Lille, in a study carried out for the Foundation for Social Sciences.

In 2021, all other things being equal (sex, age, level of diploma, socio-professional category, employment contract, size of the company, membership of a union), teleworkers, in the event of a problem, seek the opinion of a union representative 1.3 times less than face-to-face employees.

New teleworkers

For Tristan Haute, this change is due to the profound transformations of remote work during the pandemic. Reserved, until the first confinement of 2020, for executives who are well integrated professionally in companies which have employed them for a long time, it was extended, in the haste of the health crisis, to a large part of the employees. However, these new teleworkers had less seniority and were less well integrated into the work collectives than their predecessors: they were therefore further removed from collective representation.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Is telework adapted to the activity of deputies?

Because these newcomers to teleworking could not rely on the social relations established before the crisis to contact the unions, they often had difficulty in soliciting their staff representatives. “The proliferation of teleworking experiences in the years to come could fuel, as during the health crisis, an already growing distance between employees and trade unions, concludes Tristan Haute. The challenge for the unions is therefore to reinvent the ways of addressing an increasingly dispersed workforce. »

Source link

Leave a Reply