Future Work
From lerner@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca Mon Jul 11 11:26:27 1994
Subject: FutureWork Read Me

READ ME:        FUTUREWORK

Basic changes are occuring in the nature of work in North America as well
as in the European Community. Information technology has hastened the
advent of the global economic village. Jobs that North Americans once held
are now done by smart machines and/or in other countries. Contemporary
rhetoric proclaims the need for escalating competition, 'leaner and meaner'
ways of doing business, a totally 'flexible workforce.

What a large permanent reduction in the number of secure adequately-waged
jobs might mean for communities, families and the individual North American
is not being adequately discussed. The purpose of this FutureWork file is
to stimulate such discussion.  Its initial contents are a report on a 1993
workshop on the topic (see below), an article, "The Future of Work:Good
Jobs, Bad Jobs, Beyond Jobs", Futures, March 1994 by Sally Lerner, and a
short review of a relevant new book, Shifting Time.

FutureWork's beginnings: In October 1993, a Consultation Workshop  in
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada brought together a group of people from a
variety of backgrounds to discuss what changes in the workplace, in
educational institutions, and in income distribution mechanisms will be
required in North America (and other industrialized countries) as a result
of these new realities.

Workshop participants developed a research and action agenda to address
these challenges. They also agreed to serve as an on-going network
("FutureWork") to conduct needed research, promote informed public
discussion of the issues, and bring other interested people into these
activities. The Workshop was sponsored, at the University of Waterloo, by
the UW/Social Sciences and Humanities Grant Fund, the Centre for Society,
Technology and Values, and the Faculties of Engineering and Environmental
Studies. Communications Canada also provided support.

To repeat, the purpose of this FutureWork file is to stimulate discussion
and action.  If you have comments, ideas or can suggest additional
materials that should be posted here, please contact Sally Lerner
(lerner@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca).



From lerner@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca Mon Jul 11 11:21:50 1994
Subject: FutureWork Article


In Futures, March 1994

The Future of Work in North America:
Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, Beyond Jobs

Sally Lerner, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Abstract. No democratic society  is sustainable that refuses to face and
deal with the basic  needs of its citizens. Rapid technological change and
the globalization of economic activity are re-structuring the North
American economy, and with it the nature and future of work in the United
States and Canada. There is now a clear, though barely-articulated question
as to whether secure, full-time, adequately-waged employment will be
available to much of the North American workforce, at least over the next
30-60 years, or whether "jobless growth", under-employment and "contingent"
employment will become the norm, as happened first in Britain and is
increasingly the trend in other industrialized nations.  This article
offers an overview and evaluation of various policy options for dealing
with changing patterns of work in North America. It flags two fundamental
societal tasks that urgently require redesign to address these changes: [1]
the distribution of income, traditionally tied to work for wages with which
to purchase goods and services, and [2] education, where objectives and
methods have been geared primarily to creating 'employees' of varying
levels of ability. The aim here is to further the search for democratic
approaches to these new realities so that North America can maintain both
socio-political and economic viability, and do so without sacrificing its
environmental 'capital'.

Introduction
In North America, millions of manufacturing jobs are estimated to have been
permanently lost during the past decade. Currently, much of the service
sector is in the process of being automated, computerized and/or sent
off-shore. These developments are part of the public record1. Bromides to
the effect that the adoption of new technologies will inevitably produce
"more good jobs" are increasingly seen as inadequate guides to the
foreseeable future. Clear questions are being asked about how many and
which North American jobs will disappear; what kinds of de-skilling and
down-waging will characterize jobs that remain or are created; how and by
whom decisions will be made about introducing new technologies into the
workplace; and, most basically, how distribution of income, work, goods and
services might equitably be accomplished in changed societies that aim to
move toward what the Brundtland Commission has termed "sustainable
development."2  .
        How soon, how honestly and how effectively North American societies
address these questions will determine whether the democratic forms of
government in the United States and Canada can be sustained and whether our
limited environmental 'capital' can be protected to provide choices for
future generations. The latter goal is the explicit centerpiece of the
Brundtland Commission's prescription for "sustainable development" . It
requires that  renewable resources be carefully used so as to maintain or
increase current stocks, and that non-renewables be depleted only at a rate
that permits the development of substitutes. Thus movement toward
sustainability precludes any large-scale 'creation of jobs' that  depend on
increasing the rates or destructiveness of natural resource use.
        My objective here is to promote timely recognition of the need for
governments to consult  openly with all of their citizens about the
political and environmental challenges posed by the fundamental changes
taking place in the nature of work. Only through such an open process can
North Americans hope to sustain what is best in our societies during this
challenging period.
        In this  article, I first discuss briefly the need for all sectors
of society, once having obtaineded accurate information about real rates of
un- and underemployment, to examine and address the implications of
changing patterns of work for the societal tasks of income distribution and
education.  Second, I review and comment  on a range of alternative
policies and initiatives that have been put forward from various quarters
to address the problems posed by ubiquitous long-term structural
unemployment and underemployment. These evaluative comments  emphasize the
desirability of giving close attention to the environmental, equity and
human-development aspects of all such proposals, in addition to applying
the standard decision criteria related to "economic feasibility" and
"social/political acceptability."  Five types of policy proposals are
discussed: reduction of work time, redesigning jobs and workers'
organizational roles, redefinition of work, increased self-sufficiency and
guaranteed annual income.

The New Realities
In Britain, where structural unemployment has been seen as a problem for
more than a decade, analysts such as James Robertson and Colin Gill3
initiated and continue a serious dialogue about what social changes are
needed to meet this challenge. As Gill pointed out, in 1985 :

While there is nothing deterministic in the nature of the new technology
(in that it offers choices relating to how work in the future can be
organized), there is a real danger that if it is used purely as a means of
enhancing managerial control by eliminating jobs and deskilling work-force,
we will be faced with the prospect of a society with a small number of
highly skilled technical jobs, large pools of unemployment and those
workers who do have jobs will be subject to increasing forms of electronic
montitoring and control. In sum, it seems safe to conclude that the new
jobs that are created will come from information services and particularly
from personal services; such jobs will be few and far between and will be
nowhere near sufficient to return us to anything resembling the full
employment that we experienced during the 1950s and 1960s; and finally,
most of the new jobs (with the exception of those requiring very high
technical skills) are likely to be inferior in job content and in terms of
working conditions4.
        I quote Gill at length because he described very well an
increasingly plausible scenario for the next 30-60 years. Only within the
past several years have these changing patterns of work been discussed
openly in the North American mass media5, despite the attention given them
in government and scholarly publications6
        In labour circles, there has been growing awareness of the problems
posed by a globalizing economy working in concert with technological
innovation in the workplace. Typical is a 1987 union-sponsored study of
technological change in the auto industry.  It concluded that new
technologies such as robotics and statistical process control cannot be
viewed as neutral nor as having only positive or only negative impacts on
workers.  Rather, the effects of automation on work are not predetermined,
uniform nor uni-directional; they can be influenced through a strategy of
active participation and involvement by workers in the technological change
process. The report stresses, however, that what effects the introduction
of new technologies had on the nature and number of jobs were almost
completely  matters of management discretion.7 This continues to be the
case.
        In the context of technological innovation occurring simultaneously
with economic globalization, it is the possible polarization of our society
-- into an increasingly poor, "redundant", deskilled underclass and a
small, affluent, technical-professional elite -- that must be faced and
dealt with now, not only by unions and the private sector but by North
American society at large.8   Arguably, the only immediate positive aspect
of this situation is that many dirty, dangerous, monotonous jobs will be
eliminated or automated.
        In unpleasant scenarios for the future, the group now referred to
as 'the working poor' could increase in size as more jobs are eliminated or
down-waged.  In particular, automation of such female 'job ghettos' in the
service sector as banking and clerical work, in conjunction with similar
moves in the industrial sector reaching into the skilled and
middle-management ranks, could reduce two-income families to one income,
and that perhaps a minimal one based on a lower-paying, non-union job in
the fast food, tourism or nursing home sector.  This downward mobility (for
so it will be perceived and experienced, at least in the transition),
together with long-term unemployment for increasing numbers of individuals
and families, will exact an even heavier toll than at present.  This will
be felt in reduced purchasing power and material standard of living as well
as, more cruelly, in eroded self-esteem, family breakdown, rising crime
rates and all of the other well-documented consequences of unemployment and
underemployment.9    On this path lies the resort to some form of
authoritarianism.

Responses to the New Realities
Rethinking Education. If obtaining full-time adequately-waged employment
cannot, and need not, be offered as the primary goal of everyone coming of
age in North America, then the objectives, methods and very structure of
formal education need re-examination. This is, in any case, a time of
questioning the philosophy, delivery and effectiveness of education. The
questioning is driven largely by heightened parental concern about their
children's occupational futures  in  a competitive global economy with few
buffers and employers' fears that they will lack the 'knowledge workers' to
be competitive. Without attempting to detail the voluminous literature on
alternate approaches to education, it can be said that few proposals have
conceptualized the major objective of education as anything except
producing young adults whose central role in life is that of an 'employee'.
Most critics of our current educational system simply want that objective
achieved more efficiently and effectively.10
        It is now important for North Americans to examine new directions
for education in the context of accelerating structural changes in the
nature of work in North America. We need to develop research, consultation
and pilot projects that involve educators, parents and students (including
adult students) in designing a new educational system. In general outline,
this system would be one that provides not only the basic foundational
skills on which all learning depends, but also the broader range of skills,
interests and concerns--perhaps most vitally, 'eco-literacy'--which  can
enable people to play a richer variety of roles in a society that has less
need for 'employees' and more  for 'environmental stewards'11.

Distributional Aspects. If there are going to be fewer secure, full-time,
adequately-waged jobs in the future, justice dictates that we should not
continue to penalize and stigmatize people who cannot find such positions.
We must examine other mechanisms for allocating work and distributing
income. Society's  responses to these structural changes, hampered by
governments' reluctance to detail actual levels of un- and underemployment,
have  not  been notably effective.
        * A traditional response to unemployment is retraining for school
dropouts and people made redundant by  layoffs and closings. The
contemporary puzzle is 'retraining for what?' While basic educational
upgrading for an unemployed person is increasingly recognized as the best
investment in a world of rapidly-changing skill needs, the problem of fewer
available jobs, especially for those with only a secondary school
education, still remains.
        * One idea, job sharing, has been discussed for over a decade but
has been implemented on only a limited scale. While a shared job provides
some income and can partially address workers' child-care needs, this
option essentially responds to structural unemployment by sharing the work
and cutting the wage. Job sharing was originally conceived as a boon to
people who would welcome part-time work. The rise in the number of
involuntary part-time workers should not be confused with the positive
initiative of job sharing. On the contrary, increasingly common are
families with two wage-earners, neither of whom alone could provide an
adequate income but between them sometimes (though not always) can,
working at part-time or full-time, low-paying, intermittent jobs.  The
child-care and youth supervision needs created by this pattern of work have
not begun to be adequately addressed by  decision-makers.
                * Mounting large public or private sector projects
involving construction, mining, and similar activities that create (largely
temporary) employment together with negative (often massive) environmental
impacts is a constant temptation. While some projects, such as rebuilding
of infrastructure, can address real societal needs, they are often put in
place with little or no long-term planning, as when wider highways or
costly energy facilities are seen as desirable job-creation schemes, while
the job-creation potential of alternative transportation and energy
conservation options is ignored.12  Other projects, like Quebec Hydro's
Great Whale power generating scheme or logging old-growth forests on
Vancouver Island, B.C., are promoted largely for their job-creating
function and can irreversibly affect renewable and non-renewable
environmental resources, as well as  the options of present  dwellers  and
future generations.
        * In North America, we are accustomed to dealing with cyclical
recessions and regional economic problems by supplementing or temporarily
replacing earned income with various types of government transfer payments.
Where employment and wage levels have historically been high, as in
California and Ontario, economic self-support is almost universally
perceived as the norm and recourse to any but universal transfer payments
is seen as deviant and the mark of failure.  In areas such as the Maritimes
and the Appalachians, where limited employment opportunities have been the
norm, government transfer payments are, reluctantly, more accepted as a
necessity. In all cases where transfer payments are a stigmatized form of
income, the economic costs to society as well as the damage to individual
mental health and to family functioning are well-understood.13
        None of these responses can be considered adequate to deal with the
problems associated with  long-term structural unemployment.14 In order to
reduce human suffering, avoid probable unpleasant socio-political
consequences, protect the environment and provide a new framework for all
people to contribute positively to societal well-being, North American
society must sooner or later begin to design innovative, feasible  ways to
address the basic changes that are occurring in employment patterns.  It is
imperative now for decision makers to identify alternative approaches to
distributing paid employment, goods and services, and to examine both the
conditions for their implementation and their probable impacts with respect
to the goals of societal and environmental  sustainability.  A beginning
for this exercise is briefly suggested here.

Policy Approaches to Addressing Changing Patterns of Work
Reduction of Work Time. A wide range of policy proposals and some pilot
projects have focussed on reduction of individual work time as one way to
address a diminishing supply of traditional paid jobs  Included are a
shorter work week, job sharing, earlier retirement and innovative mixes of
these ideas in conjunction with a basic annual income, sabbatical leave,
and some form of "time-bank" that would allow individuals to accumulate
waged time.15. Evaluations of these proposals for dealing with structural
unemployment suggest that shortening the work week by less than 5-10 hours
would not significantly lessen unemployment.16 Job sharing is feasible for
high-paying positions or if an individual divided time between two or more
shared jobs, and early retirement might open up new positions if enough
people were psychologically willing and financially able to cut short their
paid working years.  But neither of these options seems possible to
implement on a mass basis in the foreseeable future.
        In North America, two intensifying trends have been the movement
toward a significant increase in the proportion of new jobs that are
temporary and part-time and the widespread nature of overtime work,
including flouting by employers of the laws that regulate the use of
scheduled overtime.17  While employed people are working longer hours than
ever before,  it is not clear how many new jobs would be created by
reduction of overtime work, and this is a key question.  Studies suggest
that many employees would be willing to trade increased vacation,
sabbatical or retirement periods for less income18, but others undoubtedly
want the increased income from overtime.  In attempting to evaluate policy
options in this area of reduced work time, a closer look at scheduled and
non-scheduled overtime in the United States and Canada would be
instructive.
        In general, work-time reduction can be viewed as only one component
in a strategy to address structural unemployment.  From a positive
perspective, temporary work-time reduction may have its uses in dealing
with temporary unemployment peaks.  Certainly a flexible approach to hours
and other units of required work should be investigated further as a
component of a necessarily multi-faceted approach to structural
unemployment.

Redesigning Jobs and Workers' Roles. Two aspects of work currently seen to
be in need of redesign in North America are:  1) the nature of tasks and
decision-making processes in existing workplaces where, typically, people
are employed for wages to perform tasks in the service of organizational
goals and 2) the basic control and ownership structure of the organizations
in which work takes place.  Skirting the obvious political minefield
constituted by this set of issues, it is useful to examine the proposals
and models for effecting redesign of work on both levels, in the context of
the ongoing 'technological revolution' and the perceived crisis in North
American ability to compete in terms of productivity on a global scale.
Re-design at both levels is directly relevant to long-term societal needs
for employment sharing and work that provides intrinsic satisfaction, as
discussed here.
        With regard to the redesign of tasks and decision-making processes,
"worker participation" has traditionally been seen as a key concept for
effecting positive change19 while "scientific management" in its less
benign versions from Taylorism to electronic surveillance is regarded by
thoughtful analysts both in and out of industry as generally
counter-productive.20  There has long been evidence that "jobs which offer
variety and require the individual to exercise discretion over his work
activities lead to enhanced well-being and mental health."21   If this is
the case -- and few healthy employees would argue that it is not -- then
decision processes about job design and technological innovation must be
opened to the workers involved, both on moral grounds and because it is
very likely that greater productivity results from employee participation
in decisions relating to their work as well as from productivity bonuses,
profit-sharing and employee share-ownership plans.
        The issue of employee ownership and/or management relates, of
course, to the second question of redesign mentioned above, that of the
basic control structure of organizations in which work takes place.  Since
this touches on what can only be called deep ideology, it will not be
discussed in detail here. It is possible, however,  that decisions about
who is allowed to work and how paid work might be shared among the largest
number of people might be perceived differently by workers with effective
control over community-based enterprises than by private sector
multi-nationals managers and shareholders. While this question remains
largely unaddressed, there are some useful recent compendia of detailed,
analytical case studies of alternative work organization such as
cooperative and community corporations.22 Needed now are studies of how
technological change might be handled in organizations with different types
of worker control over job re-design, and over decisions about job security
and long-term planning.23

Redefinition of Work. An extremely controversial question embedded in
discussions of changing patterns of employment is that of the extent to
which many forms of waged work, as we have known it, will and should be
phased out  in a society where relatively few people are needed to develop
and activate the technologies required to provide most needed goods and
many services.  Gorz suggests that such an "abolition" of  traditional work
should ideally be tied to a guaranteed "social income". Instead of a dole
for the unemployed or as charity for the marginalized,

it becomes the right of each citizen to receive - distributed throughout
their life - the product of the minimum amount of socially necessary labour
which s/he has to provide in a lifetime.This amount is unlikely to exceed
20,000 hours in a lifetime by the end of the century; it would be much less
in an egalitarian society opting for a less competitive, more relaxed way
of life.  Twenty thousand hours per lifetime represents 10 years' full-time
work, or 20 years part-time work, or -- a more likely choice -- 40 years of
intermittent work, part-time alternating with periods for holidays, or for
unpaid autonomous activity, community work, etc.24
        Interestingly, Gorz argues for the standardization and
simplification of socially-necessary job tasks so that this work can be
easily traded or shared.  If all necessary work required highly skilled
workers, this would "rule out the distribution and redistribution of a
diminishing amount of work among as many people as possible.  And thus it
would tend to concentrate jobs and power in the hands of..the labour elite,
and to consolidate dualistic social stratification."25 This is, of course,
an audacious, arguably utopian, proposal for a redefinition of work, the
details and problems of which are addressed at length by its author, and
merit wider discussion and debate.
        Failure to solicit and carefully examine such seemingly 'far-out'
ideas of how to manage societal transformation in the specific context of
radically changing patterns of work will limit our ability to identify
emergent issues and to address them effectively.  From the standpoints of
equity and human development, if adequately waged, long-term , full-time
(30-40 hours per week) jobs can no longer be provided for all or the vast
majority of citizens, then creative redefinitions of work and of income are
required to allow people to find identity, self-esteem, social recognition
and intrinsic satisfaction in a variety of activities that are other than
paid jobs or may be in addition to a limited amount of allocated waged
work.
        Surely there should be no excuse for allowing an unmitigated
societal slide into a situation where vast numbers of North American
citizens have no socially useful work to do, are unwillingly un- or
under-employed, and are trapped in a permanent, stigmatized,
economically-marginal or totally-dependent underclass where children face
ever-decreasing opportunities. Yet 'the deficit' is now routinely given as
governments' excuse for inaction and the imperative of 'competitiveness' is
the private sector's out. No society is sustainable that denies a
substantial portion of its members secure access to the basic goods,
services and human dignity that maintain wellbeing and permit full
participation in that society.  North Americans need to find the ways, the
means and the will to deal with the changes that are upon us so as to
ensure that the basic needs of all can be met..

Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI). There is increasing interest in some form
of guaranteed annual income (GAI) as a necessary component of any  plan to
address the economic trends under discussion.  Hanna has provided a useful
discussion of "the possible alternatives to employment  to redistribute
income in society, including various proposals for either a guaranteed
annual income, a negative income tax system, or having government as the
employer of last resort."  He points out the many questions raised by these
proposals, including the perennial problem of political acceptability in a
society dependent on wage labour for its organization and value systems.26
But, as Wolfson argues with regard to Canada,

"The giveaway part of the [Canadian] income security system when it
provides benefits to the poor does so only with many strings
attached...while the 'take-away' part of the system taxes the well-to-do
with fewer strings attached, at lower marginal rates, and with more
generous definitions of income, family and the accounting system.  When the
'give-away' part of the system is providing benefits to the middle class-or
well-to-do...there is less stigma and less formal parliamentary
accountability."27
        Proposals for any version of a GAI raise fundamental questions of
fairness and tap into deep-rooted stereotypes and value conflicts about
dependency, worthiness and virtue.  More open discussion of these questions
could, arguably, increase the political acceptability of GAI proposals. At
the least,  it could bring debatable assumptions into the light for closer
examination.
        The central point to consider in debating the merits and
workability of a guaranteed basic income program for North America is the
unfairness of withholding such support from increasing numbers of people
who are unemployed or underemployed  through no fault of their own, because
adequate jobs for them do not exist.  In a globalizing economy, the
introduction of new technologies in the workplace is but one major factor
in the gradual elimination of both 'good' and 'bad' jobs in the industrial
and service sectors.  In the most challenging scenario, North Americans
will no longer be needed in great numbers to produce goods and provide
services. The discussions we have now, the choices we make now, will
determine what scenario emerges from this unprecedented situation.28
        Retraining, better initial training and basic education,
job-sharing, reduced work weeks, and the like will all play a role in
easing us into a hopefully well-designed and thus positive new society.
But during this transition, the ownership and management structures of the
economy will remain largely in private hands, with maximum profits rather
than job creation the overriding interest; thus it is imperative that those
who see what is happening find ways to educate North Americans  about the
changing patterns of employment and about why these changes require the
redefinition of "job", "employment", and "work".  Without an explicit
effort to change public understanding and perception there will never be
social and political acceptance of an adequate GAI program designed to
provide such real options and alternatives as engaging in community
service, continuing education, innovative entrepreneurship, co-operative
ventures, and the like.29
        The GAI concept is not a new one in either the U.S. or Canada, and
it has been critically evaluated in 'negative income tax' (NIT) pilot
programs in both countries.30  Whether the NIT or some other model drawn
from British or Continental research is taken as a starting point, serious
work should begin now to address the problems inherent in designing and
implementing  equitable and effective  North American GAI programs.  The
potential human and political costs of failing to address emerging new
societal patterns are unacceptable.

Increased Self-Sufficiency.  There has been a decade-long effort on the
part of both North American governments to urge citizens toward more
self-reliance and less dependence on the public purse.  Arguably, however,
this represented more an ideological commitment to freeing the private
sector from the burdens of so-called "tax-and-spend" government social
policies than a move toward actually  helping people go back to the land,
do more with less, build co-housing, cut back on consumerism, consider
import substitution, start cooperative businesses, or barter goods and
services in an informal economy.  Nonetheless, faced with growing
unemployment and 'bad jobs' with low earnings and no security, people have
begun to engage in all of these activities.  This web of initiatives adds
up to a grassroots strategy rather than a deliberate policy on anyone's
part.  Yet in these scattered but increasingly linked efforts to become
more self-sufficient, many see the seeds and shapes of options for
post-industrial North Americans.  While it is beyond the scope of this
article to explore the rapidly growing literature on these efforts,  it is
encouraging to note that there is evidence of current grassroots
strategists having learned from both the mistakes and the successes of
those with similar inclinations in the 1960's.31

Conclusion
If the political bases of North American society are to be sustained, and
not give way to a chaotic search for ultimately authoritarian solutions,
the governments of the United States and Canada must plan realistically to
mitigate the negative effects of the high levels of structural unemployment
that technological change and a globalizing economy seem certain to produce
if present trends continue. And this will need to be accomplished while
steering their societies toward environmentally sustainable ways of living
and developing.
        In open discussion and debate, North Americans must develop policy
initiatives that imaginatively address the challenges inherent in quite
plausible unpleasant scenarios of the future, rather than allow business
'gurus', traditional economists, and anxious academics to weaken our
political  will as they argue about the accuracy of various 'predictions'
for the future.32 Sustainable development will become a dream of the past
if we do not now acknowledge the fundamental nature of the global economic
and social changes that are occurring, and of their impacts on work and
employment. Only if North Americans face these new realities can we
re-invent the human quest in ways that allow us to live in harmony with one
another and with our life-supporting biosphere.



Notes and references

1 See, for example, R. Hanna, Unemployment in the 1990's: the need for new
approaches to employment and unemployment - a discussion paper (Ottawa:
Employment and Immigration Canada, Planning Branch, June 22, 1993);
Economic Council of Canada, Good Jobs, Bad Jobs - Employment in the Service
Economy. (Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing Centre, 1990); B.
Bluestone and B. Harrison, The De-Industrialization of America   (New York:
Basic Books, 1982). See also, for comment on the extent to which
unemployment statistics underestimate the problem, D. Dembo and W.
Morehouse, The Underbelly of the U.S. Economy  (New York:Apex Press, 1993).

 2  M. Castells, The Informational City  (Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell,
1989); Province of Ontario,People and Skills in the New Global Economy
(Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1989); S. Zuboff, In the Age of the
Smart Machine: the Future of Work and Power  (NewYork: Basic Books, 1988);
M. Gunderson, N. M. Meltz and S. Ostry, editors, Unemployment:
International Perspectives (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987); J.
R. Beniger,The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of
the Information Society  (Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press,
1986); R. Hanna, 'The future of work', Futures Canada, Fall-Winter 1986,
8(2,3), pages 9-12; C. Handy, The Future of Work  (London:  Basil
Blackwell, 1984); W. Harman, 'Chronic unemployment: an emerging problem of
postindustrial society, Futurist, 1975, 12(4), pages 209-214. The basic
text on the Brundtland Commission is World Commission on Environment and
Development, Our Common Future (London:Oxford University Press, 1987

Gill's 1985 description appears to have been a strikingly accurate forecast
of what we are experiencing today, except that North America has not yet
developed the "new forms of social organization" mentioned in his last
point :  "Many of the arguments which have been put forward throughout this
book point to a very different form of work organization from the kind we
have known in the past.  If the present trends are significant, we are
likely to see: 1.A situation where full employment cannot be guaranteed,
and where fewer and fewer people are involved in paid full-time
employment.; 2.A manufacturing sector that is smaller in terms of people
employed but operating at considerably higher levels of productivity than
at present, and more reliance on shift-work and subcontracting; 3.A demand
for more highly technically qualified people to service the growing
'telematics' sector as well as more specialists and professionals, but
fewer less-qualified workers; 4. Shorter working lives, increasing
flexibility in work tasks, more part-time and home-working, short-term
contracts based on fees rather than guaranteed life-time employment, and
more self-employmen; 5.Work organizations in the future will be much
smaller both in physical terms and also in the number of people they employ
; 6.The boundaries between leisure and work will become increasingly
blurred and much more importance will be placed on the 'informal' economy
or the home and the community; 7.There will be an increased demand for
education at all levels; 8.A smaller earning population and a larger
dependent population; 9. Fewer manual jobs and a much smaller (and
weakened) trade union movement; 10.More 'self-servicing' in the home and
the community; 11.New forms of social organization and government to
complement the changes in the organization of work." Gill, ibid, pages
167-68.

3  J. Robertson, 'The challenge for new economics', in D. Boyle, editor,
The New Economics of Information  (London: The New Economics Foundation,
1989; J. Robertson, Future Work:  Jobs, Self-Employment and Leisure After
the Industrial Age (Aldershot, Hants, England, Gower/Maurice Temple Smith,
1985); C. Gill, Work, Unemployment and the New Technology  (Oxford: Polity
Press, Basil Blackwell, 1985)
4 Gill, ibid, page 166

5  See, for example, R.J. Barnet, 'The end of jobs', Harper's, September
1993, pages 47-52; J. Vardy, 'Job hopes take sharp nosedive: part-time
workers at record high', The Financial Post, August 7, 1993; M. Levinson,
'Can anyone spare a job?: why the world's jobless woes are getting worse',
Newsweek, June 14, 1993, pages 46-48; C. Ansberry, 'Workers are forced to
take more jobs with few benefits: firms use contract labor and temps to cut
costs and increase flexibility',The Wall Street Journal,  March 11, 1993,
pages 1, 9;  M. Magnet, 'Why job growth is stalled', Fortune, March 8,
1993, pages 51-57; Toronto Globe and Mail , Series on "The Jobless
Recovery", Report on Business, January 11-16, 1993.

6  W. Leontief and F. Duchin, The Future Impact of Automation on Workers
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); J. P. Grayson, Plant Closures
and De-Skilling: Three Case Studies   (Ottawa:  Science Council of Canada,
1986); S. Beer, 'The future of work', Futures Canada, Fall-Winter 1986,
8(2,3) pages 4-8; U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment,
Automation of America's Offices  (Washington, D. C., U.S. Government
Printing Office, OTA-CIT-287, December, 1985); C. Jenkins and B. Sherman,
The Collapse of Work  (London:  Eyre Methuen, 1979)

7 D. Robertson and J. Wareham, 'Technological Change in the Auto Industry',
CAW Technology Project, Draft (Willowdale, Ontario:  CAW/TCA Canada,
February 1987)

8  T.R.Ide and A. Cordell, The new tools: implications for the future of
work. Paper presented at an international meeting organized by Fundacion
Sistema, Seville, Spain, September 17-19, 1992 (obtain from S. Lerner) ; R.
Kuttner, 'The declining middle', Atlantiic Monthly , July 1986, pages
60-72; Hanna,op cit , note 2; K.S. Newman, Falling From Grace: the
Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class (New York: The
Free Press, 1988); P. Blumberg, Inequality in an Age of Decline  (New York,
Oxford University Press, 1980).

9  K. S. Newman, Declining Fortunes: The Withering of the American Dream
(New York: Basic Books, 1993); N. Kates,The Psychosocial Impact of Job
Loss. (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, 1990); S.C. Miller,
Unemployment: The Turning of the Tide?: a Bibliography  on the Social and
Economic Impacts of Unemployment (Letchworth, Herts.SG6 3RR, England:
Technical Communications, 1989); S. Fineman, editor,Unemployment: Personal
and Social Consequences (London: Tavistock Publication, 1987); S.Kirsch,
Unemployment: Its Impact on Body and Soul  (Ottawa:  Canadian Mental Health
Association, 1983)

10  See, for example, D.W. Hornbeck and L.S. Salamon, editors, Human
Capital and America's Future: An Economic Strategy for the Nineties
(Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991). But  see also, for a
broader perspective on education, R.G. Brown, Schools of Thought: How the
Politics of Literacy Shape Thinking in the Classroom (San
Francisco:Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991).

11 D. W. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to the
Postmodern World (Albany, NY:State University of New York Press, 1992); S.
C. Lerner, editor, Environmental Stewardship: Studies in Active
Earthkeeping (Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo, Geography
Department Publication Series, 1993)

12 See M. Renner, Jobs in a Sustainable Economy  - Worldwatch Paper 104
(Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 1991)

13 See note 9.

14 See, for example, J. Robertson, Future Wealth: a New Economics for the
21st Century (London: Cassell Publishers Ltd., 1989); P. Ekins,The Living
Economy   (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986); Robertson, 1985, op
cit, note 3.

15 See, for example, F. Reid, 'Combating unemployment through work time
reductions', Canadian Public Policy, 1986, 12, 2, pages 275-285; A. Gorz,
Paths to Paradise: On the Liberation from Work  (London: Pluto Press,
1985).

16   Reid, ibid

17   J. Vardy, op cit, note 5; C. Ansberry, op cit, note 5; L. Slotnick,
'Rules to curb overtime are widely flouted, Ontario Report Finds', Toronto
Globe and Mail ,  June 25, 1987.

18  J. B.Schor, The Overworked American: the Unexpected Decline of Leisure
(New York: Basic Books, 1991); Slotnick, ibid; Reid, op cit, note 13; see
also P.L.Wachtel, The Poverty of Affluence   (New York: The Free Press,
1983) pages 243-260.

19  P. Kerans, Welfare and Worker Participation: Eight Case Studies (New
York:St. Martin's Press, 1988); G. MacLeod, New Age Business:  Community
Corporations That Work  (Ottawa:  Canadian Council on Social Development,
1986); D.V. Nightingale, Workplace Democacry (Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1982); F. R. Anton, Worker Participation:  Prescription for
Industrial Change (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig Enterprises, Ltd.,
1980); G. Hunnius, G. D. Garson and J. Case, editors,  Workers' Control: A
Reader on Labor and Social Change  (New York:  Random House, 1973); C.
Pateman, Participation and Democratic Theory (London: Cambridge University
Press, 1970).

20  Gill op cit, note 3; H. Braverman, Labour and Monopoly Capitalism (new
York: Monthly Review Press, 1974.

21  See, for example, P. Warr and T. Wall, Work and Well-Being
(Hammondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1975)

22 R. Morrison,We Build the Road as We Travel: Mondragon, a Cooperative
Social System (Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers, 1991); C. Mungall,
More Than Just a Job: Worker Cooperatives in Canada  (Ottawa: Steel Rail
Publishing, 1986; MacLeod, op cit, note 17.

23  A useful beginning has been made with studies related to impacts of new
technologies completed several years ago by and for labour unions and other
stakeholder groups, with support from the Technology Impact Research Fund.
[Labour Canada, Technology Impact Research Fund. Project Results (Ottawa:
Labour Canada, mimeo, n.d.)]

24  Gorz, op cit, note 13, pages 41 and 116, notes 3,4

25  ibid, page 47

26  Hanna, op cit, note 2

27  M. Wolfson, 'A guaranteed income', Policy Options , January 1986, page 36.

28 P. Van Parijs, Arguing for Basic Income: Ethical Foundations for a
Radical Reform (London: Verso Press, 1992)

29 In Canada, the MacDonald Commission's proposed Universal Income Security
Program (UISP) was the most recent model put forward for a GAI program.
It  drew both praise for keeping GAI on the agenda and thoughtful criticism
(see D. P. Hum, 'UISP and the MacDonald Commission: reform and restraint',
Canadian Public Policy, 1986, 12 (supplement), pages 92-100;  J. R.
Kesselman, 'The Royal Commission's proposals for income security reform',
Canadian Public Policy, 1986, 12 (supplement), pages 101-112; Wolfson,
ibid.28

30 D.P. Hum and W. Simpson, Income Maintenance, Work Effort and the
Canadian Mincome Experiment  (Ottawa: Economic Council of Canada, 1991);
see also D.P. Hum and W. Simpson, 'Demogrant transfer in Canada and the
Basic Income standard', Basic Income Group Bulletin , No. 15, July 1992,
pages 9-11 (London: Citizens Income Study Centre); see also A. Sheahen,
Guaranteed Income:The Right to Economic Security  (Los Angeles, GAIN
Publications, 1983); D.P. Moynihan, The Politics of a Guaranteed Annual
Income (New York: Random House, 1973); R. Theobald, editor, Committed
Spending: A Route to Economic Security  (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968).


31 See, for example, J. C. Jacob, 'Searching for a sustainable
future:experiences from the back-to-the-land movement, Futures Research
Quarterly, Spring 1992, 8:1, pages 5-29. For a typical new approach to
barter, see E. Cahn and J. Rowe, Time Dollars: The New Currency That
Enables Americans To Turn Their Hidden Resource--Time--in Personal
Secureity & Community Renewal (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1992).

32 For a discussion of 'backcasting' (planning for a desired future) versus
attempting to predict the future, see J. B. Robinson, 'Unlearning and
backcasting: rethinking some of the questions we ask about the future',
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 1988, 33, pages 325-338. Some
contemporary analysts see the need for broad-based planning with respect to
the emerging issues related to long-term structural unemployment, including
the environmental implications and the need for new health care
arrangements in the U.S. (P. L.Wachtel,  'Health care, jobs and the
environment: unrecognized connections', The Human Economy Newsletter, 14(2)
June 1993, pages 1,10-11; 'The environment - turning brown', The Economist,
July 3, 1993, page 55). The effects on the position of women in the
workforce are also beginning to attract attention. See, for example, F.
Weir, 'Russia: the kitchen counterrevolution' (women forced out of paid
employment), In These Times (Institute for Public Affairs, Chicago,
Illinois), March 22, 1993, pages 22-24

 An earlier version of this article appeared in Technology and Work in
Canada, edited by Scott Bennett (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press,
1990)








From lerner@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca Mon Jul 11 11:27:29 1994
Subject: FutureWork Workshop Report


A CONSULTATION WORKSHOP ON
The Implications of Changes in the Nature of Work
for Approaches to
Education and Income Distribution in Canada
October 29-30, 1993
Kitchener, Ontario
SUMMARY REPORT

Sponsored by
University of Waterloo:
Centre for Society, Technology and Values
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Environmental Studies
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Communications Canada

THE IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGES IN THE NATURE OF WORK
FOR APPROACHES TO
EDUCATION AND INCOME DISTRIBUTION IN CANADA

Sally Lerner
University of Waterloo

Introduction

Basic changes are occuring in the nature of work, in North America as well
as in the European Community. Information technology has hastened the
advent of the global economic village. Jobs that Canadians once held are
now done by smart machines and/or in other countries. Contemporary rhetoric
proclaims the need for escalating competition, 'leaner and meaner' ways of
doing business, a totally 'flexible workforce. What a large permanent
reduction in the number of secure adequately-waged jobs might mean for
communities, families and the individual Canadian is not being discussed.

This Workshop brought together a group of people from a variety of
backgrounds to discuss what changes in the workplace, in educational
institutions, and in income distribution mechanisms will be required in
Canada as a result of these new realities. Workshop participants developed
a research and action agenda to address these challenges. They also agreed
to serve as an on-going network to conduct needed research, promote
informed public discussion of the issues, and bring other interested people
into these activities. (A list of Workshop participants is attached.)

The Workshop secured sponsorship at the University of Waterloo from the
UW/Social Sciences and Humanities Grant Fund, the Centre for Society,
Technology and Values, and the Faculties of Engineering and Environmental
Studies. Communications Canada also provided support. This report on the
Workshop and on subsequent network activities will be circulated to
participants, sponsors and other interested parties.


Background

Rapid technological change and the globalization of economic activity (The
Economist, 1993) are re-structuring the North American economy, and with it
the nature and future of work. In North America, permanent loss of an
estimated hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs has occured during
the past decade  (Ide & Cordell, 1992). With much of the service sector now
in the process of being automated and computerized, there is a clear
question as to whether secure, full-time, adequately-waged employment will
be available to the Canadian workforce, at least over the next 20-50 years,
or whether "jobless growth" will become the norm (Province of Ontario,
1989). The latter conclusion is steadily gaining credence (Globe and Mail,
1993).

This conclusion, and the statistical trends that engender it, are part of
the public record (Economic Council of Canada, 1990). The implications of
this problem/opportunity situation must now be addressed for two
fundamental societal tasks:  [1] the distribution of income (i.e. of the
'social product'), traditionally tied to work for wages with which to
purchase goods and services, and [2] education, where objectives and
methods have traditionally been geared to creating 'employees' of varying
levels of ability. In Britain, where structural unemployment has been seen
as a problem for more than a decade, analysts such as James Robertson
(1985; 1989) early on began a serious dialogue about what social changes
are needed to meet this challenge.


Responses to Changes in the Nature of Work:
Rethinking Income Distribution

If there are going to be fewer secure, full-time, adequately-waged jobs in
the future, justice dictates that we cannot continue to penalize and
stigmatize people who cannot find such positions.  Alternative,
socially-acceptable mechanisms for distributing income must be studied and
adopted. The positive aspect of this situation is that many jobs are so
dirty, dangerous or monotonous that their elimination or automation can be
welcomed. However, society's current responses to these structural changes,
as well as to cyclical unemployment,  are not notably effective.

[a] One response is the family with two wage-earners, neither of whom alone
could provide an adequate income but between them sometimes can, even
working at low-paying, part-time, intermittent jobs. The child-care and
youth-supervision needs created by this response have not begun to be
adequately addressed by decision-makers.

[b] Another traditional response is retraining for school dropouts and
people made redundant by  layoffs and closings. The contemporary puzzle is
'retraining for what?' While basic educational upgrading for an unemployed
person is increasingly recognized as the best investment in a world of
rapidly-changing skill needs, the problem of fewer  available jobs,
especially for those with only a high school education, still remains.

[c] Job sharing, another approach, spreads the work but not the wage.

[d] Mounting large public or private sector projects that create (usually
temporary) employment is a constant temptation. While some projects address
real societal needs, others are promoted at least partly for their
job-creating function (e.g. a pipeline to bring Lake Huron water to
southern Ontario; six-lane highways between Toronto and Cambridge;
soft-coal mining in Cape Breton) and can involve negative environmental
impacts.

[e] In Canada, we are accustomed to dealing with cyclical recessions and
regional economic problems by supplementing earned income with various
types of government transfer payments.  Where employment and wage levels
have historically been high, as in Ontario, economic self-support is almost
universally perceived as the norm and recourse to any but universal
transfer payments is seen as deviant and the mark of failure.  In areas
such as the Maritimes, where limited employment opportunities have been the
norm, government transfer payments are, relectantly, more accepted as a
necessity. In all cases, the damage to individual mental health and to
family functioning caused by unemployment is well-documented (Kates, 1990;
Fineman, 1987).

None of these responses can be considered adequate to deal with the
problems associated with very long-term structural unemployment (Ekins,
1986; Lerner, 1990) . Yet Canadian society must develop ways to deal with
it in order to reduce its human costs,  avoid its probable unpleasant
socio-political consequences, and provide a new framework for all Canadians
to contribute positively to societal well-being.

It is now imperative to identify alternative approaches to distributing
goods and services, and to study both the conditions for their
implementation and their probable impacts with respect to the goal of
societal  sustainability. This was one focus of the Consultation Workshop.


Responses to Changes in the Nature of Work:
Rethinking Education

If obtaining secure, full-time, adequately-waged employment cannot, and
perhaps need not, be offered as the primary goal of everyone coming of age
in Canada, then the objectives, methods and very structure of formal
education need re-examination. This is, in any case, a time of questioning
the philosophy, delivery and effectiveness of education in Canada,
questioning driven by heightened parental concern about  their children's
occupational futures in  a competitive global economy with few buffers.
Without attempting to detail the voluminous literature on alternate
approaches to education, it can be said that few proposals have
conceptualized education as anything except a process with the nearly sole
objective of producing young adults whose major role in life is that of
'employee'.  Most critics of our current educational system simply want
that objective achieved more efficiently and effectively.

It is now important to examine new directions for education in the context
of structural changes in the nature of work in North America.  The  second
focus of the Workshop was to discuss the issues  inherent in designing a
new educational system that could provide not only the basic foundational
skills on which all learning depends, but also the broader range of skills,
interests and concerns that would enable people to play a richer variety of
roles in a society that has less need of 'employees'.


The Workshop

 I. Identification of Issues to Be Addressed

Re-Framing the Issues, Building Consensus

At the outset of the Workshop, the urgent need for social innovation was
discussed in terms of breaking out of old forms, 'unfreezing' our
institutions so we can respond to change, re-defining ourselves and
deciding what is meant by 'quality of life'. Participants agreed that
issues related to basic changes in the nature of work must be accurately
stated (for example, the possibility that there will not be enough
full-time adequately-waged 'jobs' for all who want them) and a wide public
dialogue on these issues created.

The need is seen to establish the legitimacy of alternative views of the
problems and solutions, as against both the views of neo-classical
economists who believe the market will soon return the economy to
equilibrium and the 'collective denial' of those politicians who have no
solutions and therefore distance themselves from the issues. The emerging
problems must be addressed effectively by reapportioning resources and
re-designing institutions that no longer meet our needs, so that social
consensus rather than polarization can be created as people face what is
seen as threatening change.  A new consensus could lead to new, hopeful
questions such as how to harvest the fruits of automation and distribute
them, and thus, of necessity, to new public policy. A major  and urgent
challenge was seen to be that of how to prevent the destruction that ensues
when change evokes defensive tribal responses.

Equity issues were the focus of much of the initial discussion; there has
been increasingly too strong a trend to trade off equity for economic
interests. How to bring about a fairer distribution/redistribution of paid
and unpaid work, income, wealth, and power--and how to generate the
resources\to do this--were seen as the most fundamental set of questions
underlying the issues addressed by the Workshop.


Work: Paid, Unpaid and 'Own'

The question of how properly to value the unpaid work in society--child
rearing and elder care, housework, home repairs, community service,
volunteer activities of all sorts--was seen as particularly important. The
existence of less paid employment could at some point lead to paid
employment being shared more equally, leaving many individuals with less
income, but more time to engage in activities that are currently not paid
for.  Options were discussed, including some form of job sharing coupled
with a basic income for all and with the proviso that individuals
contribute, or continue to contribute, certain amounts of their time to
socially-valued but currently unpaid activities.

All options for addressing the current and oncoming basic changes in the
nature of work will require explicit discussion of: what kinds work are
necessary for a society to survive and thrive, how that work should be
apportioned, what value should be placed on each kind, and what rewards
should be provided for each.  The concern for equity in this context was
variously expressed: the gap between the highest and lowest wages in
society must be narrowed, workplace organization must become more
'horizontal' and less hierarchical, and  people and communities must have
more choices about, and control over, their destinies.


The Need to Share Responsibilities

Externalizing the personal and social costs of restructuring the private
sector (mental illness, substance abuse, family breakdown, for example) was
seen to be as unacceptable as externalizing the environmental costs of
industrial activity (pollution, loss of habitat, human health effects). If
there are not adequately-paid 'jobs' for everyone, due to increased
productivity or exporting work out of the country, then all of us, but
especially those who reap the rewards of economic restructuring,  have a
responsibility to provide resources to prevent the well-documented negative
effects on individuals of being 'unemployed' and  stigmatized, and the
community consequences of all this.

It was noted that our society has been premised on a social compact with
each generation that by meeting all the educational requirements and
playing by the rules, each person will have the opportunity to find work
that will pay enough to provide for personal security and the formation of
a family. When society cannot honour this compact, then it has a
responsibility to acknowledge the new realities and re-design work, income
distribution and education so that all members maintain a strong sense of
being productive and valued, of 'belonging' in the community. Ensuring that
people have the time, skills and resources to do their 'own work' in arts,
crafts, music, parenting and other activities that they find
self-fulfilling was emphasized as an important way to maintain human
dignity, mental health and community vitality.

Participants agreed that any institutional re-design will have to take into
account the  demographics of an aging population, as well as the fact that
there will continue to be people in society who cannot participate in paid
work and who will always need help.


Striking a Balance

New ways of working and living must be designed to create or restore
'balance' at individual, community and societal levels. For example, while
many people in North America must (or feel they must) maintain so heavy a
work schedule that they have little time for family and leisure activities,
some now say they would prefer more leisure and work flexibility to more
money (Schor, 1992). However, this trend would not be found among the
increasing number of people who work long hours at low pay  with little
security and almost no options. Thus, while job-sharing in its various
versions (including a shorter work week) was seen as a viable option for
bringing better balance to some individual lives as well as to the
distribution of paid work, it was not endorsed as a panacea. The need for
more research on its effects was later noted.

'Quality over quantity' was suggested as a future direction for Canadian
society. Participants discussed the need to move away from consumerism and
materialism, and suggested that the mass media, especially television,
promote and reinforce people's perceptions of material possessions as the
major source of a sense of self- worth.  In the context of the probable
need to  'prepare for diminished (material) expectations', might people be
encouraged to develop a more balanced, less materialistic sense of what
makes for a good life, and to see reinvigoration of the 'civic common' of
publicly shared goods as a worthwhile goal? How socal solidarity can be
created in large urban areas was seen as an especially vexing problem.

Discussing the need for a balance between technological change and social
stability, participants questioned whether it would be possible to control
the pace or nature of technological innovation. In this context, as well
as others, it was noted that the nation-state currently has little power
to control the activities of some trans-national corporations. Discussion
of whether and how this imbalance might be corrected led to the research
suggestions noted below. 


II. A Research Agenda

Following this general discussion of issues and questions raised by the
fundamental changes taking place in the nature of work, participants
identified research initiatives that would help to answer the basic
questions about those issues over which Canadians can have some control or
influence. They flagged the following research needs:

1.      Determine what data we now have, and what additional research is
needed, on changes in the nature of work. For example:

        *numbers and types of jobs lost and created, past and projected
        *skills polarization, the fate of the minimally-skilled and unskilled
        *part-time and contingency aspects of the organization of work
        *shorter work life (early retirement)
        *changes in opportunities for women, men, youth, age groups
        *later and less assured workforce entry for post-secondary
graduates as well as         less-educated youth
        *the alleged 'mismatch' between available skills and available jobs

Determine how needed data can be obtained. (Some participants cautioned
that devoting significant energy and resources to marshalling 'proof' that
there are problems could stall indefinitely any efforts to prepare for,
remedy and prevent them.)

2.      Review European Community programs and experiments involving income
allocation programs and reduced working time.

3.      Review the research on the outcomes of job training and re-training
programs to determine what we know about them (for example, the extent to
which there are more jobs and job placements a result of these programs;
who gets placed, for how long, in what types of jobs;  basic educational
upgrading compared with skills-based programs) and what more we need to
know in order to assess how well they address present and future problems.

4.  Examine existing and needed research on outcomes of 'active' and
'passive' welfare programs.

5.      Determine what data we now have, and what additional research is
needed, on the social-psychological and economic effects of the changes in
the nature of work on individuals, families and communities.

6.      Develop a long-term research program on the generational impacts of
labour market strategies (for example, effects on children of different
types of training for their parents, versus no training).

7.      Review the research on the stress and health effects of an
individual's lack of control over job security, work decisions and work
organization.

8.      Examine options to reduce polarization between the overworked and
the underemployed.

9.      Create a "human well-being index" to compare with per capita income
indicators. Does well-being continue to rise indefinitely with income?

10.     Examine all possible sources of revenue for programs of wealth
and/or income redistribution, including ways to close tax loopholes,
restrain the mobility of capital and capture a greater share of the fruits
of technological change. Research is needed to answer this question: if the
new technologies generated wealth, where did it go?

11.     Review attempts elsewhere to tax the beneficiaries of
job-displacing technologies, movement of jobs out of the country, and
changes in work organization such as 'downsizing' and 'streamlining'.

12.     Design research to develop a better understanding of the present
attitudes and arguments concerning the social responsibilities of
trans-national corporations.

13.     Examine the decision-making processes of trans-national corporations.

14.     Compare corporate codes of conduct and corporations' actual
implementation records in order to identify areas in which it can be argued
that legislation may be needed?

15.     Explore ways to bring the arts into education and into the
community to help people live their leisure well.

16.     Examine the education of technical experts and their role in
creating humane (or inhumane) work places.

17.     Determine what the employment effects would be of moving to become
a more ecologically sustainable society.



III. Public Agenda Activities

The final topic addressed on the first day of the Workshop was the need for
participants to develop an agenda of activities to bring these issues into
the wider public discourse. The questions, concerns and ideas raised were:

1.      The group of participants at this Workshop will function as a
network to develop ongoing research and action projects that address the
issues we have identified.  Our basic message is that there must be frank
and informed discussion of the changes taking place in the nature of work,
of their effects, and of what options we have to deal with them.  This
message must be loud and clear before we can influence the public and
politicians.

2.      There is a need and opportunity to develop academic back-up
(research, briefing papers, etc.) for the activists and advocates on the
'jobs and incomes' issues.

3.      There is a need to build coalitions--among people inside
government, people who shape public opinion, and beyond the elite to
labour, womens', environmental and other groups--to create critical
responses to regressive actions. But we must be mindful of group process
fatigue, and be ready to accept genuine shared development of agendas.

4.      If we want to work with the media, we need to understand the
different roles played by the print media and TV, and the relationships
among them. We must work closely with professionals in the media in order
to help them help us.

5.      We need to understand the dynamics of what various groups of people
are willing to put up with, in the context of what 'triggers' different
groups to adopt change or become politically active.  This might be a topic
for research.

6.      People are fearful of change because of the experiences of so many
who have lost their jobs. We must be very specific and focused on what
changes are being promoted, and how.

7.      Environmentalism provides a fresh and necessary perspective for
re-framing the social issues, and should be used to do it. The message
should go out that 'job creation' that harms the environment is not
desirable or sustainable.

8.      Educational institutions will need to shake off certain inertias,
such as the fixation on specialization, in order nurture the visionary
leadership and associated skills needed to deal with such fundamental
change. We need to determine how to bring this change about.


IV. Taking Up the Tasks

On the final day of the Workshop, after some review of the research and
action agendas we had created--and agreement that we should constitute
ourselves as a network to address these agendas--the first working groups
were created, with commitments to cooperate in getting specific research
and action activities under way:

1.       Material in the public domain on income distribution issues such
as job-sharing and redirecting wealth will be collated with the purpose of
circulating it to interested participants. The aim is to create an overview
of what is known so that we can identify what additional research is needed
to meet our research objectives.

2.     Providing for public education about the issues is important.

        *Discussion of the use of videos by an Ontario (Premier's Councils)
policy forum, to be initiated soon, stimulated the suggestion that this
network should investigate  creating a video, similar in tone and quality
to Helen Caldicott's If You Love This Earth  (possible title: If You Love
These People )  and to BBC's Now the Chips Are Down. This video could be
distributed widely to community, church and union groups as well as
secondary schools and post-secondary institutions to stimulate discussion
of the issues raised by the changing nature of work, and to provide the
vision and symbolism required to instigate change.  A task group will
develop this idea by obtaining information on costs (possibly as high as
$250,000), sources of funding, writers, producers and other necessities. It
was noted  that the task group should have a look at Laura Scott's recent
video on Total Quality Management, since it deals with many of the changes
in the nature of work that concern us.

        *A course on 'work and society' issues, suitable for university and
college students, as well as for the general public, will be developed at
the University of Waterloo's Centre for Society, Technology and Values with
input from members of the network.

3.      We should seek out effective models for our network.

        The Sparrow Lake Alliance was suggested as a possible model for our
network . It has been concerned with children's issues for two or three
years and includes 16 professional groups and six Ministries. It
anticipates issues, waits for them to arise, then pushes information out
for public discussion.

        Another model is the National Forum on Family Security. The Laidlaw
Foundation has commissioned a book (just released - November 17/93),  which
raises and discusses what are seen to be the major issues around family
security . The group, including Fraser Mustard and Judith Maxwell, will
organize regional symposia on the issues identified in the book. These
issues focus on obligations, values, ethics and  social welfare reform in a
"two-generational" context. Op-ed pieces are being prepared to accompany
this effort, which has links to A. Etzioni's "communitarian" group in the
U.S.

4.      Information  on the lack of a tax on wealth in Canada and related
topics can be obtained by requesting a copy of the Fair Tax Commission's
Final Report, which will be published by Christmas 1993. Write to :

        Fair Tax Commission,
        1075 Bay Street, 6th Floor,
        Toronto, ON M5S 2B1
        or FAX request to (416) 325-8235.

Ask also to be on their mailing list. A reporter, John Ferguson, is
believed to be preparing an investigative report on the non-tax-paying
wealthy; he will be contacted.

5.     Initial task groups were formed to study a variety of broadly
economic questions, with the proviso that other people be recruited from
within and outside the group, as needed. The topics and task groups are:

        *approaches to regulation of corporations, especially with respect
to flight of capital, laying off workers, recapturing productivity gains.
NB - a United Church task force, Churches and Corporate Responsibility, is
looking at this in the context of pension funds and the role of their
managers in influencing investment decisions;

        *ways to generate "domestic" capital at various levels --local,
regional, provincial, national -- but especially at the local level.

        *the nature of economic globalization, including its effects on the
sovereignty of the nation-state, the impacts of currency trading on price
setting, the effects of harmonization, the possibly decreasing pace of
globalization.

        *impacts on communities, families and individuals of loss of a
community's economic base and of downward mobility, lowered expectations,
etc.  NB - Newfoundland is being studied as a "living laboratory" for
examining these questions;

6. Alternate approaches to income distribution are to be examined by
documenting as many experiments as possible (e.g. single mothers' projects
proposed in British Columbia, New Brunswick; the Manpower Demonstration
Project in the U.S.) and by critiquing any moves in Canada to "reform" UI
into ineffectiveness.  The Caledon Institute should be contacted for input
on this topic. Another contact is the Centre for International Statistics
(David Ross, Director) begun 18 months ago with Laidlaw Foundation seed
money. This Centre  has a Stats Can and European data base and will be
doing a 5-year study of changes to work as well as the interface between
the income security system and labour markets
With regard to income distribution, it was noted that the
federal-provincial transfer agreement is coming up for review early in
1994.


V. Some Concluding Thoughts

Regarding our research initiatives, there is a danger of policy decisions
being made fairly quickly by the new Federal government, before research
results are in. As well, governments tend to look at each element of social
policy in isolation, rather than link social policy with labour market
policy. We should move in a timely way to initiate and complete our
activities. It would be useful to have a diagram or other visual
representation of the complete set of issues and how these are linked.
This is in preparation .

A possible next involvement for some members of this network is a proposed
workshop on methods and issues--including employment-- involved in planning
the transition from an economy based on "dirty" industries to one based on
environmentally sustainable activities. A proposal for such a workshop,
directed to the International Joint Commission, is in preparation and we
will have more details soon which will reach you by e-mail or fax where
that is possible, or by mail otherwise.










Selected References

Economic Council of Canada (1990). Good Jobs, Bad Jobs - Employment in the
Service Economy. Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Ottawa, Canada.

The Economist (1993) A Survey of Asia. October 30-November 5:1-22,
following  62.

Ekins, P. (1986) The Living Economy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Fineman, S. (ed.) (1987) Unemployment: Personal and Social Consequences.
London: Tavistock Publication

Globe and Mail  (1993) Series on "The Jobless Recovery", Report on
Business, Jan. 11-16

Ide, T.R. and A. Cordell (1992) The New Tools: Implications for the Future
of Work. Paper presented at an international meeting organized by Fundacion
Sistema, Seville, Spain, September 17-19, 1992

Kates, N. (1990) The Psychosocial Impact of Job Loss. Washington, D.C.:
American Psychiatric Press

Lerner, S.C. (1990) "A Critical Examination of Policy Proposals for Dealing
with the Effects of New Technologies on the Nature and Distribution of
Work" in S. Bennett (ed.) Technology and Work in Canada. Lewiston, N.Y.:
Edwin Mellon Press.

National Forum on Family Security (1993) Family Security in Insecure Times.
Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development

Province of Ontario (1989) People and Skills in the New Global Economy.
Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario

Robertson, J. (1985) Future Work. Hants, England: Gower Publishing Company Ltd.

Robertson, J. (1989, 1990) Future Wealth. London: Mansell Publishing

Schor, J. (1992) The Overworked American. New York: Basic Books



Nathan - I would like to know more about what things are going on at the
Center for Community Economic Research.  Also, can you give me an e-mail
address for Michael Reich (National Center for the Workplace) which you
mentioned.  Thanks in advance.  Sally Lerner