The increasing digitalisation of work poses unprecedented challenges to labor law, welfare systems and worker representation. In a scenario of uncertain occupational prospects, the old boundaries between industry and services fade, as well as those between subordination and autonomy in the employment relationship. The cognitive enrichment and the empowerment of certain occupations corresponds to the de-qualification of various others, in terms of roles, rights and social power. Collective bargaining and involvement at work, together with new laws on the legal status of platform workers, represent the main levers through which the unions can exercise close control over working conditions and possibly anticipate the change. In this article, an overview is given of the most recent evolution of collective bargaining in Italy, with particular regard to the profiles of work organization and workers participation, direct and indirect, with a focus on the metal sector. A scenario that confirms the various dualisms that affect the Italian economy and society, between some best practices of international value and a majority of cases still barely touched by sociotechnical innovation and new industrial relations.
Keywords: Digitalization, Industry 4.0, Work, Industrial Relations, Collective Bargaining, Trade Unions