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HOW ARE WORK AND THE ECONOMY CHANGING? WALT: Have a basic knowledge of the work industry in the past and how it is changing today. WILF: Consideration of the facts when considering goals for the future.
WORK IN THE LAST 100 YEARS • Big changes in manufacturing industry in terms of work processes and the targeting of products • Changes in office-work particularly as a result of Information Technology • Changes in the experience of work for the employee in terms of less security of employment and the pressures of the job • Now the recession threatens jobs for many people
MASS PRODUCTION • ‘Fordism’: named after Henry Ford who invented mass production in the making of cars at start of last century • Fordism dominated production until last few decades of last century • Assembly line, repetitive tasks, low skill, limited range of standardised products: cars, food, furniture, electrical products • Costs are relatively low because of volume and because of low labour costs
POST FORDISM INTO THIS CENTURY • Manufacturing more flexible eg computer controlled machine tools can be reprogrammed to make different products • Goods can be made in small batches to suit segments of the market • Can respond to changing demand and fashion • Workers have to be more flexible and ‘expendable’ • ‘Just in time’ delivery of parts • Work franchised out to small businesses
CORE AND PERIPHERAL WORKERS • CORE WORKERS are employed full time, are multi-skilled and can work in different parts of company: managers, designers, technical sales staff, technicians, quality control staff. Jobs are secure • PERIPHERAL WORKERS Full time workers on short term contracts, part-time workers. Enables company to reduce or increase workforce easily. Some work sub-contracted or given to self-employed workers
OFFICE WORK Revolutionised by Information Technology which means work does not have to be done in the office: • Fax • Computers, • Email, • Mobile phones • Nor do work tasks have to be carried in the company itself but can be ‘farmed out’ across the world to call centres or data processing centres
EFFECTS OF GLOBALISATION • This refers to stronger connections between different parts of the world economy especially rich and poor countries • Employers exploit low wages in the Third World by moving production to such countries • This pushes down wages in the developed world because we have to compete with cheap products • This can replace jobs in developed world eg British textile industry
THE CHANGING EXPERIENCE OF WORK • In many ways work has improved: less dangerous, decline of heavy industry, more healthy working conditions • Will Hutton in ‘The State We Are In’, argues, however, that for many people work has become much less secure and increasingly a source of stress • The global economic recession has increased insecurity
THE BOTTOM 30% • Disadvantaged compared to rest of workforce • Some unemployed and may never have worked • Some will receive no benefit • Some on government training schemes • A high proportion live in poverty • Live in poor housing and unstimulating environments
INTERMEDIATE 30% • Marginalised and insecure workers with little job security • Jobs with few benefits • Include part-time and casual workers. Over 80% of part-time are women • May be on fixed term contracts • Little employment protection eg no redundancy pay, weak unionisation. Increasing number of them will be self-employed • Earn less than half average wages
THE TOP 40% • Full time and self-employed workers who have held their jobs for more than two years • Part-times who have held their jobs for more than five years • May have benefited from share ownership or profit sharing schemes and have stake in company • BUT many of the jobs in this category are becoming more insecure and subject to short term contracts
THE CONSEQUENCES • Changes in work and weakening of trade union laws have strengthened the position of employers • Changes in work processes and contracts have made the job security of many people very fragile • The greater ‘efficiency’ resulting from this has negative effects on health, stress levels and rates of depression, all of which are deteriorating • Workers are even more vulnerable to downturn in the economy and have less protection and job security
Student Activity • What job do you expect to go into eventually? • How many jobs do you expect to have in your lifetime? • How will you survive in old age?