On 10 and 11 March UNI organized a conference for professionals and managers (P & M) in Nyon, Switzerland. The situation still prevails that the resistance against organizing P & M’s has to be overcome. In the future most working people will not necessarily be managers but certainly professionals. If we want to continue to have unions in the future, we will need P & M’s. We must be able to organize P & M’s. There is no difference between UNI and IndustriALL in this area. In the meantime the limits between services and industry are no longer very clear-cut.
At UNI most P & M’s are in the finance sector, with many also in ICT. UNI has a ten-point program for organizing in Europe. One topic of interest is the impact of the skills gap and mobility among P & M’s. P & M’s are always at work, always connected. How can we have a life outside work? Furthermore P & M’s are keen on the issues of career path, job security and health and safety, in particular for engineers.
P & M’s need to be made more visible in networks. Cooperation has to be arranged with the ICT sector to organize engineers. Work-life management has to be promoted for P & M workers. But overall the issue is organizing young professionals in the new labor market. In some countries simply calling a worker an executive, a simple change in work title, excludes him or her from being a union member. This is particularly true outside of Europe.
The priorities for Europe are seen to be work-life management, recruiting young P & M’s, organizing P & M’s in general, agreements with companies, social dialogue, EWC’s, crowdsourcing, protection of whistleblowers and salaries for managers and performance criteria as well as the UNI passport. Mobility is another overarching concern.
One other area of cooperation to be explored is working with Eurocadres. And the work needs to be more anchored in sectors.