Labour Research January 2018

Automation and health and safety - The impact of automation in the workplace is not just about its affect on numbers of jobs, but what it means for workers’ health and safety; Putting the brakes on industrial action? - The numbers of workers involved in strikes is now the lowest on record. What impact have balloting rules had on this?; Struggling to find an affordable home - The housing crisis remains high on the agenda of many trade unions, whose members are being priced out of a decent place to live

News

Unions issue caveats on health service three-year pay deal
 (519 words)

More than one million NHS workers in England are to receive a pay rise worth at least 6.5% over the next three years after the deal was accepted by 13 ...
Subscribers only

Third runway must get underway 
 (170 words)

As cabinet ministers last month backed a third runway at Heathrow Airport, unions and the TUC called for “work to start as soon as possible”. 
 ...
Open access

PCS ballot
 (136 words)

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union in the civil service are balloting for strike action over pay, which could see 150,000 ...
Open access

Restaurant tips strike
 (139 words)

Workers at TGI Fridays restaurants, who have taken four days of strike action over tips and minimum wage issues, delivered a letter to business ...
Open access

‘Disturbing survey’ points to nature of crisis in councils, says UNISON
 (338 words)

A survey by the UNISON public services union finds that eight in 10 (79%) council workers have no confidence in the future of local services — and ...
Subscribers only

Rolls-Royce job cuts condemned
 (202 words)

Unions have warned engineering firm Rolls-Royce against cutting “too deep and too fast” as 4,600 job losses were announced last month.
 ...
Open access

EU-Canada trade deal causes alarm (241 words)

A trade deal between the European Union and Canada is causing growing alarm in the UK trade union movement.
 ...
Open access

Inflation edges lower (73 words)

Inflation edged lower in May, official figures show. The annual rate of inflation under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — the inflation measure ...
Open access

UK unemployment rate is down
 (202 words)

The fall in the number of unemployed women was solely responsible for the latest decline in unemployment.
 ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (414 words)

Inflation +3.3%, Average earnings +2.5% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

Historic victory for union in recognition bid at Boots (369 words)

Independent union the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has achieved a historic victory in pursuit of its recognition bid at the Boots ...
Subscribers only

Membership up by a fraction, but union density still falling
 (295 words)

There was a small increase in the number of employees who were union members between 2016 and 2017, according to official figures. 
 ...
Subscribers only

Unite and Ryanair
 (99 words)

The Unite general union has signed what it calls a “historic” recognition agreement with budget airline Ryanair on behalf of around 650 directly ...
Open access

RMT and Labour
 (76 words)

The RMT transport union has decided not to formally re-affiliate to the Labour Party, following a consultation with members and branches. 
 ...
Open access

Leadership election
 (65 words)

Gerard Coyne, a losing candidate in the 2017 leadership election in general union Unite, has lost for the second time his complaint that the election ...
Open access

European news

Unions and employers reach agreement on strike rules
 (466 words)

The three Swedish union confederations, LO, TCO and SACO, and the main employers’ association, have reached agreement on new limits on strike ...
Subscribers only

Rights for self-employed boosted
 in Poland (182 words)

Polish self-employed workers are finally set to win union rights. 
 ...
Open access

French rail strike
 (105 words)

The rolling strikes that have hit French railways since the start of April look set to continue, going beyond the end of June end-date initially set ...
Open access

Ryanair 
 (88 words)

Along with recognising the Unite union for its UK cabin crew (see page 7), low-cost carrier Ryanair has said that it wishes to work with two Italian ...
Open access

Spanish unions meet government
 (54 words)

Leaders of Spain’s two main union confederations, CCOO and UGT, and the main employers’ associations, have held a meeting with Magdalena Valerio, ...
Open access

Features

Health, safety and automation
 (2,534 words)

How can unions resist moves in some sectors towards increased pressures on workers through the use of a range of new technologies?
 ...
Subscribers only

Have balloting rules blunted strike action?
 (2,586 words)

The number of UK strikes last year hit an all-time low. What impact have the balloting requirements of the Trade Union Act had on unions’ ability ...
Subscribers only

Will Tories face home truths?
 (2,266 words)

Labour Research looks at increasing pressures on the government to abandon its failed market-based housing policies, and at union demands and ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Dismissal was unlawful disability discrimination
 (378 words)

The National Education Union, the UK’s largest education union following a recent merger between the ATL and NUT, has won an important disability ...
Subscribers only

Consultation regulations apply to Acas, says ruling
 (198 words)

Staff at the Acas employment advisory service say they have been dealing with significantly increased workload at a time of organisational change. ...
Open access

Battle goes on against bogus self-employment (218 words)

Unions continue legal action against bogus self-employment, with the GMB general union recently announcing its pursuit of claims on behalf of courier ...
Open access

Law Queries

Central Arbitration Committee
 (187 words)

Q. What does the Central Arbitration Committee do? ...
Open access

Religion or belief
 (263 words)

Q. A Jewish member wants to finish work at 3.30pm instead of 5.00pm on Friday afternoons in autumn and winter. This request is for religious reasons ...
Subscribers only

Dress codes
 (225 words)

Q. Is it lawful to have a dress code at work?
 ...
Open access

Law Back-up

Will measures to tackle exploitation be enough?
 (840 words)

The director of labour market enforcement, Sir David Metcalf, recently published his first annual labour market enforcement strategy. In this ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Security guards have lower life expectancy
 (222 words)

Security guards are dying almost 20 years younger than the national average, according to a new study by the GMB general union. Figures compiled for ...
Open access

PCS addresses air pollution (227 words)

The annual delegate conference of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union at the end of May backed a campaign for a legal framework to address ...
Open access

Grenfell
 (161 words)

The general secretary of the FBU firefighters’ union, Matt Wrack, said the police investigation into the use of the so-called “stay put” policy ...
Open access

Air quality
 (92 words)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has set up a £1 million fund for measures to protect pupils from toxic air after air quality audits in some of the ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Offshore safety still subject to pressure
 (855 words)

Thirty years ago this month, the disaster on the Piper Alpha oil production platform killed 167 people (see box). Yet offshore safety remains under ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

When does workplace banter cross the line?
 (423 words)

One in 10 women blames workplace banter for causing mental health issues, according to a report by The Institute of Leadership & Management ...
Subscribers only

Outdated attitudes on disability still prevalent
 (241 words)

The gap between the reality of disabled people’s lives and what the British public think they are like has been exposed in a report by disability ...
Open access

Significant inequalities remain over childcare (234 words)

Despite progress towards greater gender equality, significant inequalities persist in the way childcare responsibilities are divided up and shared, ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Unions must reach out to ‘missing generation’
 (917 words)

Last month marked 150 years since the first Trades Union Congress assembled in the Manchester Mechanics’ Institute. The TUC is using the ...
Subscribers only

E-views

e-views (452 words)

Every year around this time, I compile a league table of trade union websites. 
 ...
Subscribers only