Labour Research September 2019

Are union branches in good health? - A new survey by Labour Research examines the wellbeing of the trade union movement at the level of the union branch; Defence industry and diversification - As the global arms trade prepares for its biennial exhibition this month, Labour Research looks at the debate on defence diversification; GFTU marks 120 years of support for the movement - The General Federation of Trade Unions continues to make a significant contribution to union life 120 years after its founding


Millions of workers see shrunken pay packets thanks to austerity
 (356 words)

Millions of employees in lower-paid and middle-income jobs have suffered real pay reductions over the last decade, according to new TUC analysis.
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Unions say deal will underwrite security of Harland and Wolff jobs
 (272 words)

Unions have struck a deal to help safeguard jobs at the iconic Harland and Wolff shipyard in Northern Ireland.
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Private rail firms pay out huge dividends (223 words)

Private companies responsible for supplying trains to the railways have been paying massive dividends totalling around £1.2 billion to their ...
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Asda employees march in protest at enforced new ‘flexible’ contracts 
 (365 words)

Supermarket retailer Asda has come under fire over accusations that tens of thousands of workers have been threatened with the sack if they don’t ...
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TUC slams no-deal Brexit plans
 (182 words)

The TUC has criticised government claims that preparations for a no-deal Brexit are on track, warning that a no-deal Brexit will damage the economy ...
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FBU criticises pensions delay (230 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has accused the government of dragging its heels over pension improvements for firefighters and other public sector ...
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Unemployment goes into reverse
 (200 words)

Unemployment went into reverse, latest official figures show, as the number of unemployed people increased by 31,000 to 1.33 million in the ...
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RPI inflation is cut to 2.8% (70 words)

The rate of inflation under the Retail Prices Index, the measure preferred by union negotiators, was cut to 2.8% in July from 2.9% the previous month. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (411 words)

Inflation +2.8%, Average earnings +3.6% ...
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Union news

Recruitment and organisation boosted by mobile phone app
 (381 words)

A mobile phone app designed to help union branches recruit and organise members has been developed by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). ...
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Recognition secured by unions
 (279 words)

The NUJ journalists’ union has reached a voluntary recognition agreement with digital media company VICE UK after four months of negotiations and ...
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Young members
 (157 words)

The CWU communications union is urging young activists in its telecoms and financial services sector to encourage even more of their young colleagues ...
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Sport Community
 (82 words)

The Community trade union has launched a membership organisation called Sport Community aimed at sports professionals and ex-professionals and others ...
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European news

YouTube content providers receive backing of union (429 words)

IG Metall, Germany’s biggest union, has linked up with a group of YouTube content providers to call on the online video platform to make changes to ...
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Labour law changes go through
 (199 words)

The new Greek government of the centre-right New Democracy Party has moved quickly to make changes to employment law and plans further legislation on ...
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Atypical contracts
 (137 words)

Spain’s two main union confederations, CCOO and UGT, have welcomed new efforts by the labour ministry to tackle fraud relating to temporary and ...
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Ford workers 
 (112 words)

Workers at the Ford plant in Blanquefort in France have launched a final legal effort to reverse its closure. 
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How fares the union branch?
 (2,520 words)

In the five years since Labour Research last performed a health check on trade union branches, there are improvements in a number of areas, although ...
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Unions continue to debate diversification
 (2,590 words)

As the world’s largest arms fair comes to London, Labour Research looks at the debate on defence diversification within the union movement.
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Celebrating 120 years of support
 (2,271 words)

The General Federation of Trade Unions is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. Labour Research looks at its history, the support it offers to ...
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Law Matters

All workers entitled to minimum annual leave
 (287 words)

Workers employed on permanent contracts who work for part of the year — such as term-time only staff — are entitled to the same statutory holiday ...
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Same-hours claim is unsuccessful (249 words)

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an employer is not obliged to offer the same number of hours’ work to a temporary agency worker as those ...
Open access

New law will tackle misuse of NDAs (114 words)

The government is to bring in new legislation to tackle the misuse of non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in the workplace, including those used to ...
Open access

Consultation on one-sided flexibility issued (227 words)

The government is seeking views on the issue of “one-sided flexibility” as part of its response to the Taylor review of modern working ...
Open access

Law Queries

Excessive hours (347 words)

Q. I have taken on a new job as an instructor. It’s supposed to be for 45 hours a week but I’m working more like 60 because of all the ...
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Reasonable adjustments
 (258 words)

Q. Last month, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and I regularly go into “hypo” where my blood sugar drops dangerously low. The best way of ...
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Right to be accompanied (203 words)

Q. Recently, I was called to a disciplinary hearing and given an informal warning following a customer complaint. I didn’t have much time to ...
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Law Back-up

Contractual claims upheld despite illegal working
 (936 words)

The Court of Appeal recently considered whether an individual can bring an employment tribunal claim when they do not have a legal right to work in ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Asbestos campaigners win landmark victory
 (249 words)

Asbestos campaigners are celebrating a Supreme Court ruling that they can access court documents used in a legal case against the asbestos ...
Open access

Hazards conference focuses on cleaning up toxic work (248 words)

Government and employers were sent a message from this year’s Hazards Conference by the Hazards Campaign’s Janet Newsham: “If you expose us to ...
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Teachers strike over health scare (243 words)

Members of the NASUWT teaching union at the Coatbridge campus of the Buchanan and St Ambrose high schools last month took strike action over health ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Undertaking initiatives to ‘climate proof’ work
 (801 words)

As trade unionists and others this month prepare to join young people in a global week of action demanding climate justice and an end to the age of ...
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Equality news

Welfare benefit changes torpedo disabled people 
 (339 words)

Changes to the welfare system have left disabled people four times worse off financially than non-disabled people, according to new research ...
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Women more likely to be affected by automation
 (276 words)

Women are more than twice as likely as men to be in jobs that will be automated, but this does not necessarily mean they will end up worse off, ...
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Thousands may be missing out on support (243 words)

The Mind mental health charity has expressed alarm that thousands of people with mental health problems may be missing out on vital support they ...
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Workplace Back-up

One in nine workers now in precarious jobs
 (909 words)

The government has been gloating over recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) research revealing that a record number of people have jobs. ...
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e-views (374 words)

The TUC’s unionlearn learning and skills organisation has recently launched a chatbot for apprenticeships on its website. I’ve been working with ...
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