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Shifting The Balance Between Capital and Labour

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STUC Building

333 Woodside Road

Glasgow

G3 6NG

United Kingdom

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Between 2008 and 2015 the share of national income going to labour in wages declined from 58 to 52 percent. In the 1970s labour's share had been as high as 69 per cent. Over the same period the social wage has also been slashed - particularly sharply in the 'austerity' years after 2010 and impacting on access to health services, decent housing and education. At the same time Universal Credit has been driving people, especially women and the young, into intensified exploitation.

Will this continue? As things stand, yes. Climate change itself will add to the problems. Food scarcity, cold and squalor will be matched by further cuts to the social wage to pay the private sector for new energy sources. The rich will have the money to protect themselves. Workers will not - unless we shift the balance. Climate change is also a class issue.

This is why it is urgent that all those who sell their labour find ways to shift the balance back both in terms of political power and organisation in the labour market. This is what this autumn's Star conference is about.

It will look at ways in which an incoming Labour government could take energy production back into public hands, make collective bargaining and trade union recognition mandatory and to transform income security: would a Universal Basic Income help or hinder? It will look at the lessons of recent struggles such as the Glasgow's equal pay strike in rebuilding solidarity and inter-union strength and ways of linking the fight on wages to the fight in the community to protect the social wage.

Speakers include:

Jane Carolan (Institute Employment Rights IER (Scotland))

Chelsea Dunne (YCL Environment Commision)

Neil Findlay (MSP Labour Central Scotland)

Morgan Finnie (Scottish Committee YCL)

Tam Kirby (Peoples Assembly; Unite Scottish Executive)

Simon Macfarlane (Unison Scotland Political Officer)

Tom Morrison (Secretary Clydebank Trades Union Council)

Lyn Marie O'Hara (Steward Glasgow City Unison Branch)

Keith Puttick (IER Associate Professor, Staffordshire University and author of The Welfare State: Wages and Work Organiser, STUC)

Clare Peden (Organiser STUC)

Guy Standing (Professor SOAS Author of the Precariat and The Corruption of Capitalism

Margaret Wood (Unite Convener West Dunbartonshire)

- Professor Guy Standing will put the case for Universal Basic Income

- Professor Keith Puttick will consider this in the context of workers' collective rights

- Neil Findlay MSP will look at the role of parliament

- Simon McFarlane and Lynn-Mare O'Hara will look at the role of trade unions

- Clare Peden, Tom Morrison, Tam Kirby, Chelsea Dunne and Morgan Finnie at combined struggles.

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STUC Building

333 Woodside Road

Glasgow

G3 6NG

United Kingdom

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