An extensive study reports on the relationship between Industry 4.0 and working conditions


Technological innovation is not merely a question of machines; it is above all a question of women and men at work. It appears to have always been this way, since the times of the first Industrial Revolution. And so it is today as well, in our years of the Industry 4.0 revolution. It is thus wise and useful for everyone to have access to the cognitive tools needed to understand fully what is happening. This applies not only for workers in the traditional sense of the word, but also for the entrepreneurs and managers who are dealing with Industry 4.0.

Michele Faioli (University of Rome Tor Vergata), Gualtiero Fantoni (University of Pisa) and Manuelita Mancini (Giacomo Brodolini Foundation) have set out to present in an orderly manner all the effects of today’s technological innovation, publishing their broad study in the Giacomo Brodolini Foundation Working Papers series.

‘Work and organisation under Logistics 4.0,’ as explained at the start of the study, ‘entails the objective to understand how and to what extent the novelties generated by technological innovation can have (and, in cases, have already had), repercussions in our sectors in terms of concepts, professional categories, declarations and wages. This also includes the effects that automation can have on the organisation of work schedules.’ The study focused special attention on the logistics sector. Its transformation under the impact of innovation is analysed first from the technical angle and then more closely from the role of the workers.

The study thus begins with an accurate description of various links between logistics and innovation as seen in the context of various applications: harbour and airport systems, hubs, the cold chain. The three authors then consider the same topic from a legal point of view, before discussing in-depth what occurs in the realm of training and salaries.

The paper concludes by focusing on the ‘right to computer literacy’ as the springboard to improving work conditions and thus the production organisation itself. More than anything, there emerges not only the need to revise and update contractual aspects of work, but also to completely rethink the culture of production that must involve all the players who are a part of the specific production cycle.


“Lavoro e organizzazione della logistica 4.0” (Work and Organisation of Logistics 4.0)

Michele Faioli, Gualtiero Fantoni, Manuelita Mancini

Working Papers of the Giacomo Brodolini Foundation, 2018