Despite being set up as the parties to represent workers, social democratic and labour parties have not always been seen as the party of work. But a decade of anaemic growth, a pandemic that has reconfigured the way that we understand our relationship to work and the value of certain jobs and sectors, as well as the increasing digitisation of the world of work in general has opened the doors to a new politics of labour. At the same time, prices are outpacing wages at a recently unprecedented rate, giving a renewed sense of importance to the debate.
At the fringe at the UK Labour Annual Conference, co-organised by FEPS and Progressive Britain, panellists will discuss how social democratic and labour parties can take the bull by the horns and gain the trust of voters on the issue of work. The discussion will cover both the new post-pandemic complexities of a digital working age as well as those of the traditional world of work. It will feature discussions around re-skilling, increasing productivity, and much more.
The fringe is not a one-off event, but presents the start of a joint FEPS-Progressive Britain project that aims to help social democratic and labour parties develop a vision and policies around the ‘future of work’.
Harry Pitts (Chair), Lecturer at the School of Economics, Finance and Management, University of Bristol
Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and MP for Wirral South, Labour Party
Andrew Pakes, Deputy General Secretary and Director of Research and Communications, Prospect Union
Jacqueline O’Reilly, Co-Director, ESRC Digital Futures at Work Research Centre
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