Labour Research June 2021

Police Bill threatens trade union activity - the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill strikes at the heart of the trade union movement, as Labour Research reports; Unions slam race commission findings - the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities have been condemned by unions; Freeports: ushering in deregulation and low pay? - The TUC and unions argue that the government’s freeports plan could see a post-Brexit watering down of employment protections


Bus workers chalk up major victory over fire and rehire (420 words)

Last month saw a major union victory against the practice of “fire and rehire” when bus drivers at Go North West in Manchester won a negotiated ...
Subscribers only

Warning on NHS staffing levels (249 words)

The NHS urgently needs billions of pounds of extra investment to shore up staff numbers and head off a haemorrhaging of doctors, nurses and other ...
Open access

Food workers suffer food poverty (251 words)

Almost one in five food workers may have run out of food because of a lack of money during the pandemic, finds a study by the BAFWU food workers’ ...
Subscribers only

TUC highlights danger of new homeworking ‘class divide’ (296 words)

The TUC has warned of the risk of “a new class divide” if future working arrangements do not consider workers unable to work from home. ...
Subscribers only

University boycott begins (205 words)

Last month, the UCU lecturers’ union announced a global boycott of the University of Leicester in response to a long-running dispute over ...
Open access

Usdaw strike ballot (117 words)

As Labour Research went to press, retail union Usdaw was balloting members for strike action at BCM Fareva over the company’s threat to fire and ...
Open access

Unions condemn derisory pay offer (113 words)

Unions representing 750,000 council and school support staff across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have criticised the 1.5% pay offer made by ...
Open access

Mixed picture for labour market (212 words)

The latest labour market data continues to present a mixed picture. ...
Open access

Inflation jumps (74 words)

Annual price inflation almost doubled to 2.9% in April, measured by the Retail Prices Index. Influential in wage bargaining, RPI inflation has ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (413 words)

Inflation +2.9%, Average earnings +4.1% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

Worker organisation sees improvements despite crisis (505 words)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic’s many negative impacts on workers, it has resulted in “a clear trend of increased worker organisation,” ...
Subscribers only

Bid to improve cleaners’ lot (118 words)

An alliance of trade unions and community organisations called Cleaners United has been formed to improve the working conditions of cleaners. The ...
Open access

RMT leadership (86 words)

Mick Lynch has won the race to become general secretary of the RMT transport union, vowing to “grow our union in every workplace as a strong and ...
Open access

Party suspension (108 words)

Howard Beckett, potential candidate in the race to become the next leader of the Unite general union, has been suspended from the Labour Party over ...
Open access

Pharmacists join STUC (39 words)

The STUC has announced that the PDA Union, representing 32,000 UK pharmacists, including 2,500 in Scotland, has joined its ranks. The PDAU has ...
Open access

European news

Europe’s leaders agree new targets for social rights (320 words)

The leaders of the 27 EU states have agreed to new targets aiming to make Europe “the continent of social cohesion and prosperity”. ...
Subscribers only

Spanish government restates promise to alter employment laws (223 words)

Spain’s labour minister, Yolanda Díaz, has restated her government’s commitment to make substantial changes to the country’s employment laws. ...
Open access

Greek Labour Bill (119 words)

Greek workers took to the streets of Athens last month to protest against planned new employment legislation they say will increase working time and ...
Open access

Italian unions call for health and safety pact (67 words)

Leaders of Italy’s three union confederations have called for a “pact on occupational health and safety” in response to a worsening health and ...
Open access

Irish redundancy rights improved (46 words)

The Irish government has announced that it will bring forward legislation to improve the rights of workers who are made redundant following ...
Open access


Fight is on to kill the Bill (2,463 words)

Unions say the draconian Police Bill threatens trade union activity — by restricting the right to protest and placing further restraints on ...
Open access

Race commission under fire from trade unions (2,649 words)

Labour Research looks at union reaction to the findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and at how unions are tackling racism at ...
Subscribers only

Freeports: a race to the bottom? (2,189 words)

Unions fear the government’s recently announced freeports will drive down pay and conditions and become havens for tax avoidance and money ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Minicab firm loses application to appeal over employment status (365 words)

Following the Supreme Court’s judgment in February that Uber drivers are “workers” and thus entitled to statutory rights including holiday pay ...
Subscribers only

Professional foster carers can establish a trade union, court rules (495 words)

The Court of Appeal has ruled that foster carers have the right to form a trade union. ...
Subscribers only

Law Queries

TUPE protections (226 words)

Q. Ten years ago, our company was taken over and we kept our entitlement to an additional day’s holiday after each of the May bank holidays. Our ...
Open access

Holiday and furlough (289 words)

Q. I’ve been on furlough for most of the last year and will be returning to work next month. My employer says I must use two weeks of my annual ...
Subscribers only

Change to offer (280 words)

Q. When offered my job a year ago, I was told I’d go up to the next grade as soon as I’d finished my training. I’ve just completed my training ...
Subscribers only

Law Back-up

Tories further delay bill to improve workers’ rights (866 words)

Last month’s Queen’s Speech contained no mention of the government’s promised Employment Bill, designed to level up workers’ rights. Back-up ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Johnson sets date for COVID public inquiry (262 words)

Prime minister Boris Johnson has finally heeded union calls and set a date for the start of a “full, proper public inquiry” into the COVID ...
Subscribers only

Call for action on violence against women journalists (204 words)

The NUJ journalists’ union has called for harsher penalties and greater coordination to prevent systemic online violence against women journalists, ...
Open access

Chemicals strategy (154 words)

Safety groups including the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and the Hazards Campaign have joined a group of 27 public health and environmental NGOs ...
Open access

Industrial disease (72 words)

COVID must be classified as an industrial disease, says the GMB general union, with more occupational support in place for long COVID sufferers. ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Unions point to mental health impact of covid (906 words)

Trade unions have laid down a set of demands calling on the government and employers to take urgent action to deal with a COVID-related mental health ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

Young people experience pandemic double whammy (365 words)

Young people have been at the centre of two interlinked crises during the pandemic, experiencing the largest employment hit and sharpest increase in ...
Subscribers only

Deaf workers face major employment challenges (264 words)

Deaf people face significant barriers to employment and career progression, with a lack of deaf awareness among employers being a key issue, research ...
Subscribers only

Over-50s (165 words)

The over-50s are the group most likely to face long-term unemployment due to COVID-19, according to the latest report released by the Office for ...
Open access

Ethnic employment (85 words)

An initiative to increase the employment rates for young Black men in London is calling on the government to publish quarterly unemployment ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Do we still need a job retention scheme? (925 words)

The economy is finally growing again. But support for employee and self-employed jobs remains vital in sectors where workers and businesses would ...
Subscribers only


e-views (413 words)

If you write online content for your union, or maybe for your branch website, understanding how to write for the web can make a big difference to the ...
Subscribers only

News from LRD

2020 LRD Annual report (104 words)

The impact of the pandemic on LRD publications, day-to-day operations and finances was set out in the 2020 LRD Annual Report, endorsed at the ...
Open access