In the last years, unemployment and precarisation of living and working conditions have dramatically increased in many European countries. In Spain and Greece, more than a quarter of the active population is jobless, and this rate has risen to over 50% with regard to youth unemployment. Current trends in Europe are also highlighting the fact that having a job in itself does not protect a person from poverty. According to Eurostat statistics, more than 8% of employees within the EU are considered as the “working poor”.
En savoir plus

This situation, to some extent, has resulted from the growing numbers of contracts without job security, either on a part‑time basis or of limited duration. Moreover, in a context characterised by greater inequalities, forcing workers to compete with one another leads to a levelling down of working conditions, with the best‑protected employees ultimately seeing their situation slowly deteriorate.

This kind of competition is particularly visible between those regarded as “insiders” (those benefiting from already stable contracts, usually working in highly productive sectors) and “outsiders” (those recruited on a more flexible basis, often through temporary employment agencies, and mainly working in services or outsourced production activities). The levelling down of working conditions is also linked to de facto competition from undeclared workers.

The conditions imposed on migrants, especially those in irregular or illegal situations, are particularly alarming. Their vulnerable status often forces them to take on underpaid jobs in very poor working conditions, jeopardising their health (handling dangerous chemicals with no protection, long working hours, and so on). This is occuring particularly in sectors where few certified skills are required, such as catering, construction, farm or domestic work.

In this context of the precarisation of living and working conditions, several experiences are proposing different approaches towards improving work. Below are some examples.

Image Pictures by Marjan Lazarevski, Brunolaon, Coroutine, Rimaflow and Inkyhack

Examples of the different types of ACTIONS (in orange) and POLICIES (in green) that seek to provide access to decent working conditions as well to rethink employment and its role in accessing resources.


This practice consists in sharing a collaborative environment for work. Co-workers are usually self-employed workers, students or people working for different organisations that look for a space to develop their activities. It generally enables access to a desk, space for meetings, and material - the costs of which are being supported by the community of co-workers, such as high-tech equipment. It also provides a creative and inspiring environment for the people involved in the project.

Click Here For Examples
Aucun article.
Aucun article.

One person = one voice

Organisations and businesses can be structured in very different ways. Some of the structuring consists in placing workers on an equal footing. This implies enabling each worker to take part in the decision-making process and to give the same value to his/her voice. The experiences based on the principal “one person = one voice” may have different internal organisation structures. In some cases an assembly of workers meets regularly to take decisions, in others there is a rotation of tasks which means that each worker is, at a certain point, part of the administration board. The principle of equal footing is quite often being chosen by former employees who have suffered the effects of a failed enterprise. This much is evident in the experiences of Ri-Maflow in Italy, Mol-matric in Spain or Ambiance Bois in France (here, workers also decided to receive an equal wage regardless of the task being performed). The Spanish and French experiences have been on-going for more than 25 years, demonstrating in this way the sustainability (in terms of time, for instance) of these models.

Click Here For Examples
Aucun article.
Aucun article.

Limiting working hours

In societies characterised by high levels of unemployment (but also over-work, stress and low well-being) with little time for social and domestic work, limiting the working week whilst maintaining respectable wages is appearing as a path that could lead towards greater well-being for all.

Click Here For Examples

Separating work from access to resources

Even though the money earned from paid working activities is still the main way to access resources in European societies, it is not the only path. Other initiatives and practices propose alternative ways to access different resources.

Click Here For Examples
Aucun article.
Aucun article.

For other examples, click on: Alternative Economies

Accessing dignified work

As mentioned, low-income and low-profile work are often characterised by irregular or poor working conditions. Norms and practices can help to improve the situation towards more dignified working conditions.

Click Here For Examples
Aucun article.
Aucun article.

All Examples of Actions and Policies

Re Federico Co-working

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-04-26 13:14 -

Re Federico is a co-working space that experiments with new forms of economic collaboration. Development of a collective incubator of network enterprise in the cultural and environmental education areas.

Ciclofficina La Granata

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-04-26 12:46 -

Since 2008, in Padua, a collective of students, housed in a building owned by the municipality which had been unused for a long time, started a bike repair workshop, which also has a coffee service, a bar, a small kitchen and a public internet point with a free wi-fi hotspot

Coroutine Lille

Auteur : Louise Hain - Publié le : 2013-04-19 13:18 -

The Coroutine is a hybrid space made by and for citizens providing an environment to work (co-working), exchange ideas, info, goods and services around the local life (“Veilleuse”+citizenlab) create, innovate and design new objects and concepts with different available tools (fablab+incubator).


Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-04-16 08:04 -

After the closure of a factory, some laid-off workers occupy it, giving rise to a new cooperative by starting a project of production reconversion in the direction of environmental sustainability. They thus create new workspaces and income.

Urban Gardens in Rome 2 - The Eut-Orto Project

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-04-03 07:42 -

In September 2010, some workers of the corporation Eutelia Information Technology in Rome, after having been made ​​redundant as a result of the crisis that hit the company, decided to create an urban garden community cultivating 3000 square meters of land owned by the Province of Rome, for consuming and selling agricultural products, thus continuing to work together and maintaining the visibility of their dispute for the workplace.

Premier PagePage: 3/3
Aucun article.


Aucun article.
Contribute an action to the theme
Contribute a Challenge to this theme

Click here to contribute a challenge

Dernière modification de la page : Vendredi 21 juin 2013 08:55:21 UTC