On November 22, a meeting was held in an on-line format to launch the BARMETAL project. The project leader is the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna of Pisa. The BARMETAL project aims to analyze the current situation and possibilities of strengthening collective bargaining in the metal industry taking into account technological change including, in particular, digitization, automation and decarbonization.
The project refers to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the technological digital transformation of the industry. This fact reinforces the need on the part of the social partners to find joint solutions for managing a rapid and sustainable digital transformation.
Ceemet and IndustriAll Europe (EU-level social partners in the metal industry) have published a joint vision of the challenges and opportunities of digitization for workers and employers. The BARMETAL project responds to these challenges and priorities at the EU level as expressed in the sectoral social dialogue and deepens the knowledge of industrial relations.
The project will analyze both bargaining processes and the content of collective bargaining agreements, in 12 EU member states and 1 candidate country. The project will examine challenges to working conditions, such as the intensification of work, vocational training and changing skill requirements of workers in metal companies.
The project places a strong emphasis on mutual exchanges and learning tools among the social partners between those member states that have developed collective bargaining and those where it needs to be strengthened.
As part of the project, the Institute of Public Affairs will prepare a Polish case study and a Polish policy paper. We are also responsible for the final recommendations resulting from the research. During the meeting, IPA representatives stressed that in addition to long-term trends (digitization, automation, decarbonization), the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, rising energy and raw material prices, and disruptions in supply chains are key at the moment. Inflation and the decline in household purchasing power across the EU are also important factors. So the process of making recommendations must take into account the great dynamics we are currently seeing in the metal industry.