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The biggest benefit from organised labour membership is in buying time to invest in retraining. It’s no longer protection from workplace change, or insurance against change.

If wages are being pushed down because the race for automation is being run faster than the race to increase worker productivity, or the race to protect markets from global trade, retrain in something requiring human knowledge, ingenuity, human empathy or personal consultancy, that cannot easily be relocated offshore. An example of each is as follows: cleaner, university researcher, social worker, management consultant.

The owners of businesses likely aren’t interested in choosing between a small number of staff with a union-won set of conditions versus a large labour pool of un-unionised job applicants. Instead, their dilemma is how fast to invest in fully-automated business models.

School teachers may become an endangered species, if it becomes easier for students to gain knowledge directly and cut out the middleman. Future employers will only care about the education standard reached and the relevance to their customers, not the way a school subject was taught.