The conference on the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan in Birmingham on is set to be the exciting beginning of a new initiative for arms conversion, green jobs and local democratic planning. It is being supported by a group of 16 trade union/left, green and peace organisations, the latest of which is Momentum. Highlights of the conference will include talks by former Lucas Aerospace Combine members, the screening of a new film on the Lucas Plan and many talks by leading campaigners. The workshops will be run so that there is a maximum chance for everyone to participate. Conference places are filling up fast, so BOOK NOW to make sure of your place. Please help us to publicise the conference by forwarding this message appropriately, inviting your Facebook friends, or following us on Twitter: @lucasplan40. Thanks for your help.
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan!
Veteran trade unionists and younger activists see Nobel prize-nominated plan as inspiration for the future
Leading figures from the left, trade union, environmental and peace movements are coming together at a conference on November 26th with a fresh perspective on tackling current crises, using the ideas of socially useful production pioneered in the Lucas Plan. The Plan, produced by workers at the Lucas Aerospace arms company, showed how jobs could be saved by converting to make socially useful products, rather than weapons. See www.lucasplan.org.uk, or the notes below for more information on the Lucas Plan.
The conference will focus on 5 key themes:
- The Lucas Plan and socially useful production.
- Arms conversion and peace.
- Climate change and a socially just transition to sustainability.
- The threat to skills and livelihoods from automation.
- Local/community economic and industrial planning.
Linking all these issues is the need to rethink how we can produce what people and society actually need and overcome corporate domination through their control of technology.
Highlights of the conference will include:
- Talks by Phil Asquith, Brian Salisbury and Mick Cooney (Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine).
- Screening of a new film on the Lucas Plan by Steve Sprung.
- Contributions from: Chris Baugh (PCS), Suzanne Jeffery (Million Climate Jobs Campaign), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper), Natalie Bennett, Molly Scott-Cato and Jonathan Essex (Green Party), Philip Pearson (Greener Jobs Alliance), Romayne Phoenix (People’s Assembly Against Austerity), Mary Pearson (Birmingham Trades Council), Tony Kearns (CWU), Mika Minio-Paluello (Platform), Philippa Hands (UNISON), Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility), Dave Elliott (Open University), Liz Corbin (Institute of Making), Tony Simpson (Bertrand Russell Foundation), Dave King (Breaking the Frame), Simon Fairlie (The Land magazine), Karen Leach (Localise West Midlands), Marisol Sandoval (City University), Tom Unterrainer (Bertrand Russell Foundation), John Middleton (Medact), Gail Chester (Feminist Library), Julie Ward (Labour Party), David Cullen (Nuclear Information Service) and Richard Lee (Just Space).
The conference on the Lucas Plan 40th anniversary will be held at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR) on www.lucasplan.org.uk. The conference is being organised and sponsored by: former members of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine, Breaking the Frame, PCS, UCU, Million Climate Jobs Campaign, Green Party, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Campaign Against Arms Trade, CND, Left Unity, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Red Pepper, War on Want, Conference of Socialist Economists, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Newcastle TUC and Momentum.. See
Tickets are £10/£5 concessions: To book for the conference, visit
BACKGROUND INFO: The Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine’s Alternative Corporate Plan (‘The Lucas Plan’) was launched in 1976 and became famous worldwide, sparking an international movement for socially useful production and workers’ plans. Facing the threat of redundancies, the Combine collected 150 ideas from shop floor workers about alternative socially useful products that could be produced by the company, instead of relying on military orders. Many of the innovations in the plan, such as hybrid car engines, heat pumps and wind turbines were commercially viable and are now in widespread use. Although the Alternative Plan was rejected by Lucas Aerospace managers, it was instrumental in protecting jobs at Lucas in the 1970s. The Combine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and Mike Cooley received the Right Livelihood Award in 1982. More information about the Plan, including the 53-page summary of the five 200 page volumes, can be found on the conference website, www.lucasplan.org.uk.