'The Future of Work' and 'Working Together'

Date of Publication: 
March 2018
Publication Type: 
Published by: 
CICOPA, Co-operatives UK


Today, there is a very high ratio of the population around the world suffers from precarious work conditions. There are significant figures of ratios about employment to population, high unemployment and underemployment, increased job insecurity and flexibility, widening inequalities. Also, the ratios of being a self-employment or zero contract work are getting higher than ever. These trends represent the ‘gig economy’ have constantly been growing (However, there is no precise figure on the size of these ratios, we just could only estimate of it).

Concurrently, the organization of work, the production of goods and services are experiencing profound changes that may strongly alter the way in which we work and the future of work itself. These situations make the prospect of the ‘’future work’’ more obscure. While many changes are expected in the industry and the labour market, cooperatives are attracting attention as models that can help unstable employment and offer alternatives for the new forms of industrial changes.

In this issue of the Newsletter, we introduce two reports which analyzed the above-mentioned phenomena and reviewed the potentialities of cooperatives as alternatives in various areas. The first one is a strategic paper, ‘The Future of Work: Where do industrial and service cooperatives stand?’, from CICOPA. The report describes changes in the industrial sector and the latest trends while at the same time explaining the structural problems that still exist. And then goes on to explain the problems in the industry behind the word innovation, suggesting that cooperatives can work in various fields as an experimental means to solve the problems. Another report is, ‘Working Together: Trade union and co-operative innovations for precarious workers’, written by Pat Conaty, Alex Bird and Cilla Ross. This report examines the current state of self-employment trend in the UK and its problems and explains how cooperatives can inspire them in five specific areas.

** You could find the whole texts below (attachments)