John McDonnell MP, speaking at the Open 2017: Platform Cooperatives conference at Goldsmiths University in London today, said:

“The discussion of the challenges for the modern world of work posed by the so called ‘gig economy’ are nothing new. They represent an age-old threat to diminish the hard-won workplace rights, terms and conditions offered by full-time employment.

 

“However, as technology changes so too does the nature of the threat to job security in the new world of work. That is why it’s exciting to see the ideas and the discussions on how we can help build the economy and society of the future that secures sustainable, well paid jobs. 

 

“Rather than running away from innovation and technological advances, we need to see where we can use them to adapt to the challenges they may present to full-time work. 

 

“The power that these changes in technology give us all is the ability to pool our collective talents and skills and produce wealth not just for the benefit of a tiny handful at the top, but for all of us. It can help us mitigate the potential growth in the ‘Uberisation’ of the workplace.

 

“Digital technology means there is no longer a convincing reason to allow the wealth of society to be taken by a tiny elite, instead of shared for the many. The old rules about the supposed efficiency of the free market and the private firm are being rewritten right in front of us.

 

“That’s why the next Labour government will be completely committed to fixing our rigged economy and promoting the co-operative ownership of the wealth we produce, doubling the size of the co-operative sector. We’ll support the development of platform co-operatives instead of allowing new technologies to be exploited for the benefit of an elite few.

 

“The new National Investment Bank and network of regional development banks will be tasked with supplying the funding to help support a new generation of co-operatively owned Ubers and Airbnbs.”


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