WSI Mitteilungen 2/2023

: Issue 02/2023

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 83-92

Kristin Carls, Hinrich Gehrken, Martin Kuhlmann, Barbara Splett, Lukas Thamm

Digitalisation from the Employees’ Perspective. Lack of Participation, Extra Workload, Insufficient Recognition


Referring to qualitative and quantitative data from comparative case studies, the article analyses employees’ perceptions of digitalisation within companies, particularly with regard to work and health-related effects. On this basis, starting points for a health-enhancing design of digitalisation are outlined. Central findings are the following: first of all, digitalisation does not produce new, but rather reinforces existing physical, environmental and performance-related strains. This is mainly due to shortcomings in how companies shape the design of digitalisation processes, namely the lack of opportunities for employees to participate, as well as insufficient adaptation of existing technologies to work processes. Besides the increase in workloads, these deficits lead to subjective perceptions of lack of regard in terms of recognition and participation. Perceptions that are important for work-related well-being. In order to achieve a more health-promoting design of digitalisation processes it is thus central to create institutionalised organisational forms for participation and to base technological choices on work-process related needs and knowledge. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 93-102

Petra Kaps, Frank Oschmiansky

Digitisation in the Labour Administration. Developments and the Current Status


The services provided by social administrations are becoming increasingly digitised and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this development. However, there is a lack of any comprehensive overview of the current developments. In addition, little is known about the effects of digitisation for employees and the labour administration or for those seeking advice. The article seeks to redress this lack of information by providing an overview of the central activities of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) on the digitisation of its services in recent years. The high dynamics of change pose, on the one hand, a challenge for the employees of the BA, but also provide new opportunities for them. Based on two studies on the implementation of video counselling in SGB II and SGB III, findings are reported on employees’ attitudes towards digitisation, their self-assessments of digital competences and observed coping strategies for dealing with these challenges. Electronic file management and video communication in particular open up new areas of flexibility for staff, so that counselling and placement can also be better suited to needs and requirements of individual consulters. The organisation is faced with offering new working time regulations, individually tailored further training and appropriate technical equipment for the staff. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 103-111

Simon Schaupp

Algorithmic Management and Market-Oriented Migration Regimes. An Underestimated Affinity


Digitalisation has not yet reduced the demand for manual “unskilled” work. Instead of substitution, “unskilled” work is being integrated and rationalised by means of algorithmic work control technologies. The article shows that due to a specific interaction between the German migration regime and algorithmic management, the share of migrant workers is particularly high in this type of work. The market-oriented migration regime leads to a differential inclusion that forces certain migrants into precarious employment. Algorithmic management simplifies the labour process and overcomes language barriers, making it possible to integrate migrant workers in areas where this was not previously the case. This interaction contributes to the devaluation of migrant work, but also provokes various forms of – mostly informal – resistance. The author reconstructs these processes on the basis of interviews and participant observations in German “Industry 4.0” and platform logistics companies. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 112-122

Malte Lübker, Thorsten Schulten

WSI Minimum Wage Report 2023: Securing Purchasing Power as a Central Task in Times of High Inflation


The WSI Minimum Wage Report contains current data on minimum wages from 38 countries in Europe and beyond. The current development of minimum wages is very much characterised by the enormously high inflation rates. While half of the 22 EU member states with statutory minimum wages protected or increased real minimum wages, nominal minimum wage adjustments have been insufficient to prevent sometimes considerable real wage losses in the remaining countries. The European Minimum Wage Directive, which was adopted in October 2022, defines the purchasing power as an essential criterion for adequate minimum wages. In some European countries, such as Belgium or France, securing the real value of minimum wages is already enshrined in law and safeguarded by corresponding indexation clauses. In Germany, the increase of the minimum wage to 12 € has initially given employees a strong increase in real wages. To cover future adjustments, however, real wage protection is also here on the agenda. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 123-132

Thorsten Schulten, WSI-Tarifarchiv

Collective Bargaining in Germany 2022: Under the Conditions of Historically High Inflation Rates


The current annual collective bargaining report of the WSI Collective Agreement Archive contains a comprehensive analysis of the 2022 bargaining round and gives an overview of the demands and results as well as a calculation of the annual wage increases. In 2022 collectively agreed wages grew on average 2.7 % in nominal terms. Against the background of a historically high inflation rate of 7.9 %, workers covered by collective agreements have had to accept average real wage losses of 4.8 %. In view of the continuing economic uncertainties and presumably continuing relatively high rates of inflation for the coming year, safeguarding purchasing power is at the top of the collective bargaining agenda in 2023 in order to maintain private demand and to contribute towards stabilising overall economic development. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 133-140

Mareike Reimann, Martin Diewald

Working from Home: No Success without Good Relationships among Colleagues and with Supervisors


This article examines the conditions for the success of working from home under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, a non-representative sample of more than 2800 employees in 19 small, medium-sized and large companies in various industries was examined with regard to both workplace conditions and conditions of working at home. Six perceptions were examined as criteria of success from the employee’s perspective: satisfaction with work-life integration, conflicts spilling over from work to family as well as vice versa from family to work perceived fairness of the employment relationship, health and desired extent of working from home after the pandemic. Remarkably, the sudden and forced implementation of working from home produced few differences in the formal design of working from home. Instead, the quality of relationships among colleagues and with supervisors proved to be a decisive factor, and one that was valid for all success criteria. Both company strategies and legal framework conditions can be conducive to this. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 141-145

Alexander Bendel, Indira Dupuis, Thomas Haipeter

Dual Transformation and Industrial Relations in Energy-Intensive Industries


In the course of decarbonisation and a new stage of digitalisation, complex adaptation processes are taking place in industry. The Foundation for Labour and the Environment of the IGBCE commissioned the Institute for Labour and Qualification at the University Duisburg-Essen with an exploratory survey in ten systematically selected companies in the energy sector and the energy-intensive sectors of glass and chemicals to find out how the adapting pressure resulting from decarbonisation and a new wave of digitalisation is changing the workplace and how representatives from management and works councils are shaping this double transformation at the plant level. The results show that the routines of action and co-determination are developed differently with regard to the topics of digitalisation and decarbonisation. While digitalisation is now a well-rehearsed field of action for the co-determination practice of works councils, this is far less apparent with regard to the action field of decarbonisation. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 2/2023, pp. 146-148

Jennie Auffenberg

Patients before profit: Reforming hospital care needs more courage


The precarious situation in hospitals is also becoming increasingly apparent to the public, and the frequency of reforms in this area is high. The laws passed so far have hardly brought any noticeable improvements, and the hospital sector continues to be characterised by a shortage of trained personnel, underfunding and inadequate provision of care. This has been caused by decades of health policy that has focused on economisation through flat-rate rather than cost-covering remuneration. The current Hospital Care Relief Act and the planned hospital structure reform show that politicians have recognised the problem, but the solutions remain insufficient. more … (in German)