chapter  One
Technological Innovation, Organisation of Work, and Unions
WithFederico Butera, Giuseppe Della Rocca
Pages 20

This chapter presents some hypotheses and data on technological innovation and its effects on the labour market and industrial relations. The importan area of technological innovation concerns transportation technologies, material handling, and buffer systems. New ingenious solutions are applied and a general computer-assisted system approach to the physical displacement of material is often developed in various industries. The problem of participation in the design of the applications of technological innovations has become particularly significant in the case of information technology. The third alternative seeks anticipatory bargaining and participation orientated towards technical-organisational innovation. The union participates and thereby not only establishes rights of protection but also helps to fix the objectives and orientations of innovation and the rules for its attainment. This alternative presupposes a change in industrial relations and requires not only that the parties conduct negotiating-conflictual activities but also those of a consultative-participative nature.