How to make automation work for workers
David Spencer argues that if workers and society rather than big tech companies such as Amazon are to benefit from automation, they need to have a larger influence and stake in it.
Amazon still seems hell bent on turning workers into robots – here’s a better way forward – David Spencer in the Conversation
Professor David Spencer has written a new article for The Conversation about ongoing strikes by Amazon workers protesting about pay, long hours and surveillance systems.
Wage Theft and the Struggle over the Working Day in Hospitality Work: A Typology of Unpaid Labour Time
Drawing on Marxist political economy, this article examines wage theft in hospitality work. Through a detailed, qualitative study of workers’ experiences in London hotels, a novel typology is developed that reveals how managers extract additional unpaid labour time through wage theft. The article argues that both the legal definition [...]
Furloughing and COVID-19: assessing regulatory reform of the state
This article assesses regulatory reform of the state in the context of the move to furloughing in the UK. It establishes that furloughing was a successful response to the COVID-19 crisis, partly because it challenged the traditional UK crisis response of non-state intervention in the labour market. Furloughing prevented [...]
Furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK: Managers’ experiences and perspectives
We report initial findings from a unique survey of managers on the practice of furlough, their experiences of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and workplace change during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study draws on an online survey of managers in the UK with responsibility for staffing (HR managers, [...]
Lighter work for all
The goals of both better and less work require us to rethink and reorganise work as well as technology, and to adopt new ideas about what it means to work and live well in society.
Making Light Work: An End to Toil in the Twenty-First Century
Is work a primordial curse? Or a spiritual calling? Or is it a tedious necessity that technology will abolish, freeing us to indulge lives of leisure? In this book David A. Spencer argues that work is only an alienating burden because of the nature of work under capitalism. He [...]
COVID-19 and the uncertain future of HRM: furlough, job retention and reform
The article argues that job retention should be a central aim and practice of human resource management (HRM). Set against the global COVID-19 crisis, theoretical insights are drawn from strategic HRM planning and the economics of ‘labour hoarding’ to consider the potential benefits of workforce furloughing. Furlough has been [...]
Digital automation and the future of work
Prepared at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. Modern capitalist economies are witnessing a period of rapid technological progress. Developments [...]
Digit researchers’ report for the European Parliament argues for a new ‘Digital Social Contract’
Digit researchers have produced a report for the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) that argues for a new ‘Digital Social Contract’ to address the rapid technological progress underway in modern capitalist economies.