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The workshop is intended to assess the past history and significance of direct labour organisations (DLOs), to present inspiring contemporary examples, in particular from Glasgow and Yorkshire, and to discuss possibilities for the further development of direct labour. Today we face a severe housing crisis, the lowest level of construction training ever seen and the need for a transformation of the construction industry to meet low energy targets and address climate change. Does direct labour offer a solution?


13.15-13.30 Registration and coffee
13.30-13.40 Welcome - Introduction: Direct Labour past and present     ProBE/University of Westminster

Session 1: The History and Significance of DLOs

13.40-14.00 The origins and development of DLOs Linda Clarke University of Westminster
14.00–14.20 Tradeswomen in DLOs Christine Wall University of Westminster
14.20-14.40 Experiences working in DLOs Tony O-Brien Construction Safety Campaign
14.40-15.00 The significance of DLOs Pete Farrell London Hazards
15.00-15.30 Discussion All
15.30-15.45 Coffee/tea break  

Session 2: Direct Labour Today

15.45-16.05 Glasgow City Building Dave King tbc Chair Glasgow Joint Union Council
16.05-16.25 What can be achieved by DLOs Denis Doody tbc Unite
16.25-16.45 DLOs and housing provision Mike Jones University of Cambridge
16.45-17.05 Discussion All

Session 3: The Future of DLOs and the Housing Crisis (panel discussion)

17.05-17.15 Introduction: The housing crisis today Cllr Diarmaid Ward Chair of Housing, Islington council
17.15-17.30 The way forward All  
17.30 Drinks and exhibition ‘Building Workers’ Stories’

Download the full programme (pdf)

direct housing organisation protest

Book your place

For further information, contact, Melahat Sahin-Dikmen [email protected], Linda Clarke [email protected], or Christine Wall [email protected].