Thematic areas

The union seen from within

This thematic area is responsible for investigating the presence, strength and representation of the trade union, both among active workers, belonging to the different trade sectors, and among pensioners.

This area focuses on different topics ranging from the analysis of the levels of union membership and density in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, to ad hoc surveys aimed at investigating the organization, the services offered, the levels of membership and proselytism, but also to identify the profile of members and their relationship with politics and with trade unions.

Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are applied to the research projects related to this area, which are strictly complementary and intertwined according to a temporal and substantial continuity.

The topics under study are::

  • Membership levels;
  • Members’ profile: characteristics and quality of life;
  • Youth and their relationship with the trade union;
  • Representation and representativeness of the trade union;
  • Trade union organization and strategy.
Industrial Relations

L’area si occupa delle dinamiche della contrattazione ai diversi livelli ai quali essa si esercita, nonché delle relazioni tra gli attori sociali che a vario titolo la esercitano.

Oltre alle materie tradizionalmente oggetto di negoziazione, quali l’organizzazione del lavoro, i percorsi professionali, l’orario, il salario, ecc., si pone in particolare l’accento sulla qualità del confronto tra le rappresentanze sindacali e le loro controparti negoziali, ma anche tra i lavoratori e le loro rappresentanze, nonché alla condizione dei lavoratori nel loro contesto organizzativo e al loro maggiore o minore coinvolgimento partecipativo in questo ambito.

Italy - Germany relationships

This thematic area deals with the issues related to trade union cooperation at a transnational level. One of the main activities of the area concerns the scientific support to the cooperation project in which FIOM-CGIL of Bologna and Emilia-Romagna and various local and regional branches of IG Metall are involved. The relations between the two economic systems are analyzed and specific surveys are conducted to ascertain the need for cooperation between trade unions at a transnational level in multinational companies and along their supply chains.

The area intends to analyze the way in which globalization processes can be managed in order to prevent international competition from being faced through social and wage dumping, worsening working conditions, precarious employment relationships and negative impact on rights of both male and female workers and their organizations.

The topics under study are::

  • The supply chains at the transnational level;
  • The application of the European directives on information and consultation;
  • The role of Transnational company agreements;
  • Bargaining and participation in transformation processes;
  • Industrial relations at group level and along the value chain.
Supply chains, sectors and districts

L’area si occupa, attraverso metodi di ricerca qualitativi e quantitativi, dell’analisi dei settori e delle filiere nelle diverse articolazioni produttive e territoriali, da quello locale a quello nazionale ed europeo. Vengono poste sotto osservazione la struttura, le relazioni e le dinamiche evolutive delle imprese nei diversi comparti della manifattura e dei servizi. 

A special attention is paid to the structural characteristics, development strategies and performance of the various companies, assessed both individually and in relation to the sector, supply chain, network, district or cluster to which they belong. The research project also focuses on the analysis of innovative processes and how they contribute to introduce change both in companies and in the organization and quality of work.

The topics under study are::

  • Economic trends of companies and sectors;
  • Supply chain, network, district and cluster relations;
  • Innovative processes;
  • Implications of business and supply chain evolutionary dynamics for work and the territory;
  • Implications of company and supply chain evolutionary dynamics for industrial policies.

L’area si occupa, attraverso metodi di ricerca qualitativi e quantitativi, dell’analisi dei processi di digitalizzazione che attraversano l’economia e la società a livello locale, nazionale ed europeo. 

Digital technologies, which include artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, blockchain, have a very high transformative potential, capable of profoundly changing the functioning and reference markets of existing companies, their organizational methods, as well as creating business opportunities, completely new competitive environments and skills. In this context, work is also subject to a significant evolutionary pressure, through the simultaneous creation and destruction of jobs, deep transformations in the necessary skills and new frontiers with respect to the protection of workers’ rights.

The topics under study are::

  • Characteristics and effects of digitization processes on businesses and markets;
  • Characteristics and effects of digitalisation processes on work;
  • Platform economy and digital labour;
  • Trade Union and digitization.
Work conditions

This thematic area offers research, surveys and analyzes on the transformations of the labour market, the quality of work and working conditions at local, regional, national as well as at European level. From a methodological point of view, the implementation of the various research projects relating to this thematic area envisages both quantitative methods (data analysis and surveys) and qualitative methods (interviews, discussion groups and focus groups), also through national and international partnerships.

Work is constantly changing in its employment dimension, composition, form and organization, as well as in its subjective and collective recognition, its contractual and identity expression. This thematic area is designed to analyze these processes in order to turn them into knowledge useful for improving health and safety levels as well as the representativeness of trade unions. 

The topics under study are::

  • Labour market;
  • Physical and psycho-social well-being;
  • Organization of work and working times;
  • Smart work, lavoro agile e lavoro da remoto;
  • Training and occupational profiles;
  • The subjective, identity, value and collective dimension of work.

This thematic area includes research, surveys and analyses at a local, national and European level, on aspects relating to the well-being and social vulnerability of the population, and on the methods of intervention of the various welfare systems, in terms of policies and services. 

From a methodological point of view, the proposed analyses are designed both through quantitative methods (data analysis, surveys) and qualitative methods (interviews, discussion groups and focus groups, analysis of existing documentation).

The living conditions of the different population groups are influenced by several aspects (health, economic, relational and housing conditions), and require increasingly integrated responses in terms of policies and services. The area intends to analyze these phenomena from a multi-dimensional perspective taking into account the role of social determinants, to offer evidence-based information useful for the bargaining activity of trade unions and for improving the level of well-being of citizens as a whole. 

The topics under study are::

  • Well-being in its multi-dimensional declination;
  • Health, economic, relational, housing conditions;
  • Vulnerability and social needs of citizens;
  • Health, social, welfare policies and services.