The Lucas Plan was a pioneering effort by workers at Lucas Aerospace to propose alternative, socially useful applications of the company’s technology and workers’ skills. The idea was to meet genuine social needs whilst retaining jobs.
We hope these celebrations will help to reopen debate about industrial conversion and democratic control of technology, in relation to current issues.
The Lucas Plan: widely regarded as an inspiring model of industrial democracy
The Lucas Plan has played an important role in showing that traditional trade union concerns about the impact of job losses in harmful industries (such as arms manufacture, nuclear power, etc) can be met.
Forty years after the Lucas Plan, issues of weapons manufacture (eg Trident) are still highly topical. In addition, our society faces the threat of climate change and the need for massive ‘decarbonisation’ of the economy and conversion to renewable energy.
Another issue raised by technological developments is the impact of robotics and automation, with estimates suggesting massive job losses, with polarisation of the jobs market into low-paid service sector and highly-paid professional jobs.
The new Anniversary Celebration Group, which includes members of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine which produced the Lucas Plan, is planning a conference/gathering in November and possible regional events before then.
A new website with an archive of original Lucas Plan documents and a new film including interviews with shop stewards are in the pipeline.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping with the project.