Conversion

conversion of military to civilian, socially-useful, production
1 October 2021Feature

Unfair training costs make a Just Transition harder for oil and gas workers

Workers across the oil, gas, wind and decommissioning industries strongly support the idea of an ‘offshore passport’ that would allow them to easily transfer their skills and experience between sectors, a survey shows.

Respondents to a poll reported they are currently forced to pay out thousands of pounds of their own money for training courses before being hired, with no guarantee of work, and are routinely having to repeat training they have already done.

These barriers…

1 December 2016Comment

What are Britain's corporate leader so worried about?

Lucas Aerospace workers proposed a bus that could run on rails as an product for their arms company. A model was built and tested, and toured the country to rally support for the Lucas Plan. PHOTO: Gillett’s Crossing [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

By the time this issue lands on your doorstep, it will probably have become clear just how much British prime minister Theresa May has been forced to back down from her signature policy of putting workers’ representatives on company…

1 December 2016Feature

Cut War, Not Jobs: an inspiring example of constructive thinking from the 1970s

The Lucas Aerospace plan was developed in the mid-1970s by workers who wanted to move the aircraft manufacturer away from military production towards socially-useful production, in order to make their jobs more secure and more productive.

Lucas Aerospace had 18,000 workers spread out over Britain in 17 different factories, making collective action a real challenge.



The workforce was also divided into 13 different trade unions, adding to the…

1 October 2016Feature

40th anniversary conference to revisit visionary Lucas Plan

On 26 November, a wide range of groups are organising a Lucas Plan 40th anniversary conference at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council. It is 40 years since the workers at the Lucas Aerospace arms company proposed making alternative socially-useful products, while retaining jobs.

The conference will both celebrate the achievements of the Lucas workers and, we hope, reinvigorate a movement for arms conversion and democratic control of the economy. The Lucas Plan showed that…

1 August 2015Comment

On our way to a peaceful, stable world, we need Just Transitions to bridge the gap

How can we create a genuinely common agenda for the climate movement and the disarmament movement? It’s easy – and still important – to say that the money we spend on nuclear weapons could be spent on preventing climate change, but there must be more than that.

For us in the peace movement, it can be hard sometimes to see that climate change is already a reality today, it’s not just about what might happen two generations from now. We’re already seeing the impact of climate change…

3 September 2013Blog entry

Jessica Corbett reports from a recent meeting of anti-arms trade campaigners at City Circle.

On 10 September, DSEi invades London. DSEi, or Defence & Security Equipment International, is the world’s largest international arms trade fair, and is held every two years at the London ExCeL Centre.

One of the most touted arguments in favour of arms production is employment. Companies and politicians constantly make the claim that a reduction in arms development means a loss of jobs.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case, and some alternatives to arms trade…

8 June 2013News

A US state has begun examining the conversion of military industry to socially-useful production. On 14 May, the Connecticut legislature created a ‘futures commission’ which will draw up a strategy for ‘the diversification or conversion of defense-related industries with an emphasis on encouraging environmentally-sustainable and civilian product manufacturing’.

This follows the success of a ballot in November, in New Haven, Connecticut, on the question: ‘Shall…

17 October 2012Feature

Cameron commits £2bn to drones while chopping disability benefits

The Conservative-led government is committing billions to military spending while forcing through massive cuts in jobs and services, and reducing support for badly-needed green technologies.

The government has already spent £2bn on developing and deploying pilotless drone aircraft over the past five years, using some of them to kill an unknown number of Afghan civilians…