Blog

Reaping the rewards

By Carys Roberts At any time of flux there are opportunities to entrench or overcome the problems of the status quo. One such problem is the gendered world of work that results in a gender pay gap of 17.9 per cent, unequal access to jobs and hours, and women doing 60 per cent more unpaid work than … Continue reading Reaping the rewards

Making tech work

By Tom Watson It’s nearly three years ago now since I set up an independent Commission on the Future of Work with my colleague, Helen Mountfield QC. We saw that technology like automation, AI, and machine learning was causing significant disruption in the world of work, destroying some jobs, hollowing out others, and shifting the … Continue reading Making tech work

Intelligent futures

By Ivana Bartoletti Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, and it is changing the way we live, think and make decisions – and have decisions made about us. There is no part of our life which is untouched by this new transformative technology. Insurance, medical care, mortgages, transport, policing, bail and parole, newsfeeds, political and commercial … Continue reading Intelligent futures

No automation without representation

By Areeq Chowdhury “Workers are Britain’s real wealth creators. They deserve a seat at the table.”  Those were the words of Jeremy Corbyn last year when he announced that a Labour government will require companies to hand over a third of the seats on their boards to workers. The announcement was met with joy by trade unions and dismay by big business. The … Continue reading No automation without representation

Getting technical

By Dr Fiona Aldridge Over the next few weeks, young people across the country will be receiving their exam results. Tension will be building in households up and down the land. And this is not unjustified; educational attainment is becoming increasingly central to life chances. At the Learning and Work Institute, we know that education is … Continue reading Getting technical

Launch of Commission on Workers and Technology

A new Commission on Workers and Technology chaired by Yvette Cooper MP is launched today with the publication of new evidence on British workers’ hopes and fears for automation over the next decade. The two year commission organised by the trade union Community and the Fabian Society will identify the immediate actions that government, employers and trade unions … Continue reading Launch of Commission on Workers and Technology

Rocket Boosters

By David Arnold The annual publication of trade union statistics seldom lifts the spirits. Although the recently published figures for 2017 show an increase in membership of 19,000, because the number of people in work rose faster, the proportion of working people who are members of unions overall fell again. The share of employees who are union … Continue reading Rocket Boosters

Driverless dreams

By Christian Wolmar Hardly a day passes without an announcement about the imminent advent of driverless cars. We are being bombarded with predictions that soon the roads will be full of self-driving pods, leaving their occupants to read a newspaper or, more likely, play with their devices while being taken to their destination. The government … Continue reading Driverless dreams

Pathways to progression: improving progression rates for young retail workers

Pathways to progression, written by the Fabian Society for the TUC, looks at low-paid employees in 2001-2004 and again in 2014-2016. It finds that retail is the worst industry for pay and progression. Out of people on low pay in 2001-2004, two in five (42 per cent) who worked in retail were still stuck in … Continue reading Pathways to progression: improving progression rates for young retail workers

A new collectivism: how private sector trade unions can innovate and grow

A New Collectivism is a multi-author report on how trade unions can modernise to meet the challenges of the changing world of work. It is a follow-up to our hotly debated report on the future of the union movement in Britain. The report features an introduction from the current general secretary of the TUC Frances OGrady … Continue reading A new collectivism: how private sector trade unions can innovate and grow

Future unions: towards a membership renaissance in the private sector

New research supported by a wide range of union leaders sets out a radical plan to reverse the decline in trade union membership and boost pay in the private sector. The 11-point plan is published by the Changing Work Centre, a joint initiative between the Fabian Society and Community union. Private sector union membership is now … Continue reading Future unions: towards a membership renaissance in the private sector

Reinvigorating our skills system to support older workers

By Charlie Samuda Looking for a new job is daunting at the best of times. Even with unemployment at a record low, many of the jobs available are part-time, poor-quality or unreliable shift-work. It’s an uphill struggle if you don’t have the right qualifications to start with. Now that further education funding has been slashed … Continue reading Reinvigorating our skills system to support older workers

How trade unions address a new set of challenges for women at work

By Frances O’Grady The trade union movement has a long and proud history of representing – and winning – for women workers. From the chainmakers of Cradley Heath and the Bryant & May match workers through to the sewing machinists at Ford in Dagenham, trade union women have organised, bargained and campaigned for a fairer, … Continue reading How trade unions address a new set of challenges for women at work

Making a living from cutting our own hair

By Carsten Sorensen There is currently much debate on the future of paid employment in light of technological advancements in speech recognition, robotics, artificial intelligence and a range of other areas. We are often presented with evocative imagery of self-driving cars and, occasionally, the digital immortality of bodiless beings. I wish here to emphasise more … Continue reading Making a living from cutting our own hair