Towards a four-day work week

We started the company, two of us in a room, working five eight-hour days, and late if we had to: the same hours we were used to at the advertising agency we’d just left, scrounging for work, taking what we could get.

Little by little we got better at what we did, and after two or three years we’d improved our skills and our processes, grown to five people, and we were in a position to do something with that productivity. So we started taking Fridays off. Continue reading →

Response by Tom Rigby to “The Future of Work”

Ramos’ critique of neoliberalism centres on the nature of capitalism as a system in which value is created for the few at the expense of the many. Ramos uses the metaphor of musical chairs to demonstrate the effects of neoliberalism on employment, with each step of innovation and disruption decreasing rather than increasing employment opportunities. But why must this be a zero sum game, he asks?

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The Future of Work

The article was originally published in Stir Magazine. Thank you to Jose Ramos for giving us permission to republish.

Many of us grew up with the game of musical chairs. The music starts and we go round and round. Some dance around with abandon, while others hover over each chair as they pass expecting the music to stop (that was me as a child!). Eventually the music does stop and you, me and the other children would rush to find the nearest empty chair. Invariably one child would end up chair-less or else one of the chairs would be crammed with two bottoms vying for position, one bottom toppling over in a fierce contest. Continue reading →

An Automated World? An interview with Jim Stanford

Green Agenda contributor Mark Riboldi recently sat down with Jim Stanford to talk about automation and what it means for the future of work.

Jim is an economist and the Director of the Centre for Future Work. He recently moved to Australia from Canada where he served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers).

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Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes

On the 9th December, 2016, the Green Institute published the paper Can Less Work be More Fair: a discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and Shorter Working Week. As part of this release Green Agenda will be republishing a number of essay from the paper.

The third paper we are publishing is from Louise Tarrant, “Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes.

How might a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and shorter working hours interact with challenges facing democracy, civil society and community engagement?

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Not Just a Basic Income

On the 9th December, 2016, the Green Institute published the paper Can Less Work be More Fair: a discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and Shorter Working Week. As part of this release Green Agenda will be republishing a number of essay from the paper.

The second paper we are publishing is from Ben Spies-Butcher, “Not Just a Basic Income.

One of the great attractions of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the breadth of its support. Not only are progressives like Martin Luther King and Eric Olin-Wright strong supporters, but so too are free market advocates like Milton Friedman and tech-savvy entrepreneurs. The libertarian impulse behind a basic income—allowing people to spend money as they see fit and without judgment—creates interesting alliances, but it also potentially conceals important points of difference. Depending on both the level of payment, and the other policies it complements or replaces, a UBI can have radically different implications. A basic income can potentially help break down the stigma and conditionality of many government payments, and improve work incentives and equity. However, where it is used to replace other components of social policy—whether through ‘buying out’ public services or reducing the ‘need’ for fair labour laws and job creation, it may instead serve to entrench the inequalities of a neoliberal world. Continue reading →

Working for the Environment

Why work and workers matter in the environmental debate                                                                                                                  

It is not hard to imagine that the world of work is a place of deep ecological impact that will be fundamentally changed by endeavours to green the economy. The implications of climate change for all workers and employers are enormous: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that 80 per cent of Europe’s CO2 emissions come from industrial production. Thus, the world of work is a critical site of ecological harm and therefore needs to be a site of deep environmentally focused transformation. Continue reading →