Labour Research November 2017

Union subs: a fair rate for today's workers - What issues must trade unions take into consideration when setting their rates for membership contributions? Budget cuts cripple our schools - Many schools are in dire financial straits, thanks to government funding cuts totalling almost £3 billion since 2015; US workers and the Trump presidency - On the first anniversary of Donald Trump's election as US president, we look at what his administration means for workers


Big Ben restoration contract under fire from Unite and MPs
 (311 words)

The Unite general union has joined calls for construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd to be stripped of the contract to restore Big Ben. The union ...
Subscribers only

Airbus deal 'potentially good news' for Bombardier's Belfast workers
 (329 words)

Unions have given a cautious welcome to a deal that involves Aerospace giant Airbus taking a majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series jet ...
Subscribers only

Centenary news (243 words)

The November 2001 issue of Labour Research examined the influence of the CBI employers’ organisation over the then Labour government. 
Open access

Renewed negotiations must achieve fair deal, warns post workers' union
 (354 words)

The Royal Mail dispute has been “postponed” but “not cancelled” the CWU postal workers' union warned last month. The warning came after the ...
Subscribers only

Charter aims to undercut violence
 (167 words)

Almost half of staff working for charities and housing associations have experienced violence or aggression, either from service users or from ...
Open access

Rally calls for end to pay cap (268 words)

Union members rallied on Parliament Square last month in a renewed call for a proper pay rise for public sector workers ahead of this month’s ...
Subscribers only

Joblessness lowest for 22 years
 (212 words)

UK unemployment is at its lowest level for 22 years, official figures show. The number of unemployed people fell by 52,000 to 1.44 million in the ...
Open access

RPI inflation unchanged (75 words)

In September, the annual rate of inflation under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) was unchanged at 3.9%. It was last as high in January 2012.
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (412 words)

Inflation +3.9%, Average earnings +2.2% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

Council faces tribunal over claims of rep victimisation
 (423 words)

A rare case of alleged victimisation of a union rep was being taken through the employment tribunal by the Unite general union as Labour Research ...
Subscribers only

Movement loses staunch fighter
 (185 words)

The Labour Research Department (LRD) is very sad at the passing of Rodney Bickerstaffe, former general secretary of public services union UNISON. 
Open access

 (104 words)

The government has turned down a call to bar blacklisting companies from undertaking public sector contracts. 
Open access

Ryanair pilots
 (167 words)

Pilots at embattled budget airline operator Ryanair are making moves to unionise in the teeth of long-standing opposition from boss Michael O’Leary. ...
Open access

European news

Spanish unions issue call for dialogue over Catalonia
 (313 words)

Spain’s two largest union confederations, the CCOO and the UGT, have both said that the current crisis over Catalonia’s future can only be ...
Subscribers only

Macron plans further changes
 (344 words)

With protest still continuing against alterations to the labour code introduced earlier this year, the French government of president Emmanuel Macron ...
Subscribers only

Tata merger doubts
 (57 words)

IG Metall, Germany’s largest union which includes steel workers among its members, has expressed renewed doubts on the planned merger of the steel ...
Open access

Progress on 
equality is slow
 (98 words)

The European Gender Equality Index, which measures men’s and women’s experience across a range of issues, shows that progress towards equality ...
Open access

Car job losses
 (107 words)

The takeover of Opel and Vauxhall by the French car company PSA has led to the first job losses. 
Open access


Subscribing to a good deal
 (2,244 words)

Unions take a range of important factors into account when setting out membership subscription rates, as Labour Research reports.
Open access

Schools hammered by government funding cuts
 (2,541 words)

School are facing huge, and in most cases, unsustainable, real terms cuts as Labour Research reports.
Subscribers only

Keeping his promises to workers?
 (2,177 words)

This month marks one year since billionaire property tycoon and former reality TV show host Donald Trump became president of the United States. How ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Airline’s case against pilots’ union doesn’t fly
 (327 words)

Pilots’ union BALPA has won a landmark High Court case relating to the new information requirements on voting papers in industrial action ballot ...
Subscribers only

Addison Lee drivers are entitled to workers’ rights
 (299 words)

The GMB general union has chalked up another success in its legal battle against bogus self-employment. 
Subscribers only

Data Protection Bill
 (75 words)

The new Data Protection Bill is proceeding through Parliament, the second reading having taken place on 10 October 2017. 
Open access

Holiday pay
 (56 words)

The Insolvency Service has announced changes to how it will calculate holiday pay payments in light of recent case law confirming that payments for ...
Open access

Law Queries

Work during maternity leave
 (207 words)

Q. A member wants to go into work for a couple of days during her Statutory Maternity Leave. Will this impact on her right to Statutory Maternity Pay? ...
Open access

Time off for union activities (242 words)

Q. Do union members who are not union representatives have a right to time off for union activities? ...
Open access

Facilities for reps (286 words)

Q. I am helping one of our members with his grievance, but his employer will not let us use an office at work to discuss this and prepare. Can the ...
Subscribers only

Law Back-up

Bach proposals may be prelude to better justice
 (920 words)

The Bach Commission, supported by the Fabian Society, recently released its final report into the right to justice at the Labour Party conference in ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Transport unions hail cab decision by mayor
 (181 words)

Transport unions Unite, the GMB and the RMT have praised the move by Transport for London (TfL), backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, not to renew ...
Open access

Staff face violent attacks (361 words)

Cuts to mental health service funding are leaving staff vulnerable to violence and aggression from patients, according to a new survey by public ...
Subscribers only

Fire safety inspectors
 (142 words)

Fire services have lost over a quarter (28%) of their fire safety inspectors since 2010, according to the FBU firefighters’ union. The union used ...
Open access

Train guards
 (108 words)

Rail union RMT has welcomed the announcement by Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones that the next Wales & Borders franchise will keep the ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Action can promote a breath of fresh air
 (927 words)

Air pollution impacts on the workplace. How can trade unionists help to tackle the problem? Back-up reports.
Subscribers only

Equality news

Union slams May over racial disparity audit
 (328 words)

Prime minister Theresa May has been accused of showing “astounding hypocrisy” by the GMB general union following the publication of a government ...
Subscribers only

Disabled jobseekers face barriers to recruitment
 (262 words)

Up to three-quarters of disabled people find that their condition has an impact when job-hunting, according to research from the Recruitment Industry ...
Subscribers only

TV industry must do better on equality (215 words)

Broadcasters need to improve the diversity of their employees, says industry regulator Ofcom. Ofcom’s recent report, Diversity and equal ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Sexual harassment at work remains common
 (881 words)

Sexual harassment at work has returned to the headlines following recent high-profile allegations of sexual assault and harassment in the Hollywood ...
Subscribers only


e-views (406 words)

One of the many important roles unions can undertake is that of helping ensure apprenticeships are of high quality and that apprentices are properly ...
Subscribers only