May has been a busy month for Makes You Think, as unions, their members and the rest of us continue to grabble with the day-to-day challenges of coronavirus and the unavoidable and unsettling uncertainty about what the future looks like.
A click-and-collect trip to a local hardware store made me reflect on the looming jobs catastrophe as economic activity increases but on a social distancing premise. It seems to me that the case for a universal basic income has become overwhelming, as I argued in this post.
Social distancing is not the only component of a back-to-work package – home working, used by millions of people (many for the first time) during the lockdown, undoubtedly enabled many businesses to keep going and arguably generated lots of positives – from less pollution to increased productivity. But it’s also clear that there are limits, which led me to ask “How Flexible Is FlexiWorking?”
It’s been a real privilege to work with some inspiring people on the UnionDues podcast. In the past month, we’ve discussed unions and branding with Prospect’s Andrew Pakes, youth engagement with the TUC’s Clare Coatman, and community organising with Rebecca Winson of the New Economics Foundation. My thanks to them, and to all those who have downloaded, streamed and shared the podcast.
During the month, we’ve been busy recording future episodes too – next up (dropping on 2 June) is the FDA’s Victoria Jones talking about the union’s ground-breaking deal on flexible working in the Civil Service. Episodes featuring NGSU General Secretary Tim Rose, and BFAWU leader Sarah Woolley are also “in the can” and will surface during June.
On the production side, Makes You Think has been working with Neontetra Films on a new series tentatively titled The Left Talk Show, featuring Andrew Murray and Ellie Mae O’Hagan. Watch this space for more details.
Lockdown may be loosening, but the pandemic is far from over and there is still no cure for Covid. Thank you to all key workers and front line staff. Stay safe and stay well.
(Photocredit – Author)