Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Lucas Plan
The Lucas Plan was a pioneering effort by workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. It remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.
Today, in 2016 — 40 years after the Lucas Plan — we’re facing a convergence of crises: militarism and nuclear weapons, climate chaos, and the destruction of jobs by automation.
These crises mean we have to start thinking about technology as political, as the Lucas Aerospace workers did.
You can be part of this. It’s in our hands: we have to show that alternatives are possible. Together we can start creating the Lucas Plans of the future. It could be the best way to make sure we still have a future.
the Lucas Plan Anniversary Conference
(Flyer for the Lucas Plan Conference, which was held on 26th November 2016 at BVSC in Birmingham. Design: The Coastal Invention Company)
Our conference aimed to re-open the debate about industrial conversion and democracy.
- We heard the story of the challenges and breakthroughs in the original Lucas Plan first-hand – from shop stewards who played key roles
- We learnt from leading, inspirational figures in the trade union, left, peace and environment movements
- We took part in workshops, where we connected with other changemakers and tackled issues that are close to us – from local community plans, to union action on industrial conversion, and much more.
The conference provided fresh impetus to the discussions and plans taking shape around the idea of a ‘Just Transition’. We’ll talked about existing approaches, such as the ‘One Million Climate Jobs’ plan, and also brought in plenty of grassroots voices.
The conference focused on the following topics:
- The Lucas Plan story and its relevance today
- Trident and arms conversion
- Climate change, renewable energy and transition issues
- Alternative and local community plans
- Robotics, automation and the future of work
- Practical ways to develop the Lucas Plans of the future.