Report to the AMWSU 1980 National Conference
By Laurie Carmichael
Published by the AMWSU, authorised by the 1980 National Conference
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Introduction – Don Sutherland
The AMWSU National Conference decision to endorse the report and reproduce it in this pamphlet form made sure that its members were learning more than the general community about the impact of the computer revolution on their daily lives and on society as a whole.
The contents reveal Laurie Carmichael’s widespread reading on the subject and an unerring capacity to link technological change to its impact on daily lives, changes in the workplace, and the broader national and international political economy.
Carmichael delivered the report orally to the National Conference of union delegates – most of whom being shop stewards (union delegates) and union organisers and officials who had left secondary school at around their fifteenth birthdays. The plain language does not at any time dumb down the content and pays full respect to the Conference’s ability to deal with the material.
The pamphlet was read and discussed in shop stewards training courses at the AMWSU and also in the Trade Union Training Authority.
There is no defeatism and no resignation. He argues for why and how workers must organise to take control of the technology.
Carmichael would work on this right through to his retirement, especially in the significance of award restructuring and new vocational education that would enable.