Labour Research October 2017

Are Labour pains over for the unions? - a number of non-Labour Party affiliated trade unions have been reconsidering their relationship with the party; Health, safety and driver-only operated trains - rail unions have been taking industrial action over the potential extension of driver-only train operation on several rail franchises; Ireland and Brexit: what are unions saying? - unions want to ensure their voices are heard during negotiations on Ireland’s complex relationship with the Brexit process

News

Economy needs fundamental reform — and stronger unions
 (368 words)

The British economic model needs fundamental reform — and stronger trade unions are key to ensuring the economy works for everyone, says a report ...
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McDonald’s workers take to the picket line for first time in UK
 (254 words)

Last month, workers at fast food giant McDonald’s, a pioneer of zero hours contracts, took strike action for the first time in the UK in protest at ...
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Centenary news (245 words)

October 1968’s Labour Research reported on the 100th TUC Congress that took place in September: 
 ...
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O’Grady condemns Tories’ Brexit negotiating strategy
 (307 words)

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the government’s failure to come up with a proper Brexit plan means long-term single market membership ...
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Government lifts 1% pay cap
 (239 words)

The government has announced the ending of the 1% public sector pay cap for police and prison officers this year, and has also signalled the ending ...
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NHS professionals
 (109 words)

The government has been accused of wasting millions as it backtracks over the selling off of the NHS Professionals staffing agency.
 ...
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BA pension closure
 (131 words)

British Airways’ announcement that it intends to close its main defined benefit pension scheme has left unions and their members bitterly ...
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Manufacturing output broadly flat
 (202 words)

Manufacturing output was broadly flat, latest official figures show. 
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Inflation jumps up (75 words)

Retail price inflation is rising at its highest rate for over five-and-a-half years. 
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (409 words)

Inflation +3.9%, Average earnings +1.4% ...
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Union news

Best Brexit deal, good jobs and the young are priorities (387 words)

The TUC and its affiliates will prioritise winning the best deal for workers during Brexit, pushing for “great jobs” instead of insecure ones, ...
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Anti-union Act restricts tactics (288 words)

The National Education Union (NEU), formed last month by the merger of the NUT and ATL teaching unions, is likely to switch its tactics in relation ...
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New leaders (68 words)

The Royal College of Midwives, which is a professional association and a TUC-affiliated trade union, has a new leader. 
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Independent union (52 words)

The United Voices of the World has been certified as an independent union by the assistant certification officer. The non-TUC union has 300 migrant ...
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CWU and Momentum (40 words)

The CWU communications union has decided to affiliate to the Labour Party-supporting campaigning movement Momentum. The union’s executive committee ...
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Blacklisting (57 words)

Len McCluskey, leader of general union Unite, has instructed a barrister to examine allegations that its officials colluded with blacklisting ...
Open access

European news

Unions give thumbs down to France’s labour law changes
 (513 words)

The French government has now published the full details of its changes to employment law. These were set to come into effect at the end of September. ...
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Dutch talks end in breakdown
 (160 words)

Unions and employers in the Netherlands have been unable to reach agreement on new rules covering a range of employment issues.
 ...
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Czech unions want substantial increases
 (117 words)

Unions in the Czech Republic are looking for substantial increases for public sector workers and are threatening strikes to make up the ground they ...
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Minimum rate for Austria (137 words)

Austria is one of only six EU countries without a minimum wage. However, with more than 90% of all employees covered by collectively-negotiated ...
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Features

Labour and the unions: forging stronger links?
 (2,546 words)

Since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour Party leader, several unions that were not Labour-affiliated have been considering their relationship with the ...
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Southern discomfort
 (2,116 words)

Industrial action on the Southern rail franchise has highlighted union concerns over moves to increase driver-only operation on rail services.
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Brexit and Ireland: key issues
 (2,116 words)

When ministers from the UK and other European Union member states meet again later this month to discuss Brexit, Ireland’s position will be one of ...
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Law Matters

Tribunal fees ruling helps revive discrimination claim
 (374 words)

In one of the very first decisions to be made partly based on UNISON’s recent Supreme Court victory establishing that tribunal fees are unlawful ...
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Union battles against reign of umbrella firms
 (308 words)

General union Unite continues to campaign against the use of umbrella companies in the NHS — having recently called on the NHS to outlaw them — ...
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Favourable equal pay ruling secured
 (77 words)

The GMB general union has secured a landmark Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling in its equal pay battle against the Asda retail chain. 
 ...
Open access

Gender Recognition Act consultation
 (58 words)

The government has announced its intention to carry out a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act, to be published during autumn (see also page ...
Open access

Bereavement Bill
 (49 words)

The Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons at the end of July and is due for second reading on 20 ...
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Psychiatric injury
 (49 words)

New “Vento” bands (see Labour Research, September 2017, page 24) have been announced in relation to awards for injury to feelings and psychiatric ...
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Law Queries

“Week’s pay” calculation
 (300 words)

Q. Should benefits like pension and expenses be included in the calculation for a “week’s pay”?
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Time off for emergencies
 (208 words)

Q. If a member has a family emergency to deal with, are they allowed paid time off work?
 ...
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Interim relief (212 words)

Q. Is Employment Tribunal interim relief available for someone who has been dismissed for trade union activities? ...
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Law Back-up

More effective regime needed to enforce rights
 (881 words)

Enforcement of employment rights has received much attention recently. Back-up, looks at current enforcement methods, as well as some proposals for ...
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Health & Safety Matters

It's 'bad businesses as usual' at Sports Direct
 (249 words)

Last month, the Unite general union organised more than 30 events across England and Wales in protest at the “bad business as usual” and poor ...
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Royal Mail boosts Charter
 (285 words)

Over half a million workers are now covered by the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter. The news comes after one of the UK’s biggest employers, Royal ...
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ScotRail strike vote 
 (59 words)

ScotRail members of the TSSA white collar rail union in Dunfermline and Paisley have voted to strike if the company presses ahead with proposals to ...
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Care pathway for ‘fume events’
 (111 words)

Pilots’ union BALPA has helped develop a path in NHS care for pilots affected by a so-called “fume event” — an unusual odour, mist or smoke ...
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Blacklisting call
 (120 words)

The Unite general union has renewed its call for new and effective laws to outlaw blacklisting and to bar blacklisters from public sector contracts. ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Campaign highlights role of safety reps
 (876 words)

This October, the TUC launches a campaign to celebrate union health and safety reps and mark the 40th anniversary of the Safety Representatives and ...
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Equality news

Young parents endure childcare nightmare
 (396 words)

Nearly half of low-paid young mums and dads are struggling to manage work and childcare because they work irregular hours, a TUC report has ...
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Campaign outlines impact of arthritis on economy
 (285 words)

Arthritis will cause 25.9 million lost working days and cost £3.43 billion by 2030, says a new campaign launched by charity Arthritis Research UK ...
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No ethnic minorities on 58% of FTSE boards (242 words)

The number of FTSE 100 businesses with ethnic minority representation in the leadership pipeline has seen a small improvement, although over half of ...
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Workplace Back-up

Promoting awareness of transgender issues
 (858 words)

A new study by the Acas employment advisory body finds there is a lack of support for transgender employees in the workplace, particularly from their ...
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E-views

e-views (460 words)

When the World Wide Web was young, most websites were built in pure HTML, the simple mark-up language used for rendering text and images on websites. ...
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