Paid work and its limits. The challenge of the Social Economy

Paid work and its limits. The challenge of the Social Economy

rapporteur: Andreas Lytras Panteion University

“In the transition from the 3rd to the 4th industrial revolution, labor is experiencing a deep restructuring with the characteristic element of the reduction of wage labor. Labor is being rediscovered in many new fields. As a result, many will be forced to become self-employed, in addition to paid work. We are at a historical turning point as due to technological developments and the so-called new technological opportunities, the creation of jobs by employers who are mainly active in the market and the state is limited. And this of course contradicts the established notion that every technological advancement unlimitedly develops supply and demand for employees.

The fact that the industrial revolution developed at an unprecedented level of wage labor does not mean that with further automation, robotics and computer science we will have the same trend. The exact opposite is happening with the new technological revolution and a complete overthrow is expected. Another dimension is the ambiguity of the system we live in and. On the one hand, great competition in the pursuit of profit reduces the rate of profit, while on the other hand technological innovation and automation as well as intellectual property, ensure high profitability for the Capital that buys, invests in innovations and owns property rights. This creates new privileged profitability sectors with fewer employees and destroys labor-intensive sectors that can not operate within the for-profit framework without government subsidies.

In these new conditions in which a part of small and medium enterprises is being destroyed, it is possible for them to become “entrepreneurs, united consumers, members of an entire community based on the cooperative entrepreneurship model. Businesses can become cultural institutions and humanitarian charities. These can activate inactive resources, buildings, abandoned facilities, land, common areas, forests, etc. They can organize inactive human resources by offering social services in the field of nutrition, health and social services. Unskilled people can be hired to help at home. At this level of job search, a new kind of craft and craft can be developed.

Key points are:

Synergies and partnerships of small social enterprises with larger social enterprises and municipalities are the key to surviving in a hostile economic environment.

A necessary condition is that the solidarity economy starts from the solidarity and cooperation of the social enterprises themselves with each other.

Sustainable social enterprises are those that start from social networks, collective organizations and consumer associations. That is, those who gather Social Capital of wider trust and serve a local community.

It is also necessary in our country to recognize the EU policies for the Social Economy and the recommendations of the ILO for the future of work in which the social economy has a special place. And this requires institutional organization at secondary and tertiary level.

The main organizational goal of social economy actors should be a confederation that will unite all forces for institutional interventions in resource management.

On this basis, social enterprises can claim the EU resources that are intended for the field of Social Economy and are now diverted to the client’s logics of the State, such as the false “community service”.

The associations of bodies in each Region should claim with the interventions the committed resources for this purpose and invitations should be issued immediately.

To cooperate locally with the Municipalities on the basis of the common benefit in order to utilize real estate and inactive resources that objectively facilitate their work.

The social economy today is a necessary condition for the relief of the state and the local self-government from the great pressures they receive for the expansion of the social solidarity and welfare policy in an era of reduction of the paid work due to the so-called technological unemployment.

There are several convincing examples in Greece and the EU. with social enterprises in social care in the environment in Culture.

In the seminar there will be such exemplary models that implement PPPs with the Local Government as the EDRA cooperative that operates in western Attica and many KOISPE throughout Greece.

It is necessary for the Municipalities to be aware of the good practices that exist in all sectors of the Social Solidarity economy and this is the aim of the seminar “Mentors of Social Economy” and the educational material that will be published soon.

Attachment of the Presentation of Andreas N. Lytras

Cooperation and sustainable development, aiming at full employment

[18-1-2020, Panteion University]