It's not the unions who are "Shaping the Future of Work." Instead, the future of work in developed industrial nations such as Germany and Japan is being shaped by the demographic trends of an aging society.

The future of work is also being shaped by engineers and IT specialists who are working on the production systems of the future, under the headline "Industry 4.0."

But Rolf Wenkel believes Germany's unions will continue to have an important role to play in future nevertheless. His guess is that the trade unions will play a rather conservative role in coming years.

"sortir de ce piège où l'accumulation des droits donnés aux travailleurs se transforme en autant de handicaps pour ceux qui ne travaillent pas"
Emmanuel Macron, Ministre français de l'économie (août 2014)