Labour Research February 2012

Striking gains for unions - Unions tell Labour Research they have recorded an upsurge in recruitment, thanks to the November 2011 pensions strike; Vulnerable workers - The Union Modernisation Fund has helped support union efforts to organise vulnerable workers; Public sector insecurity - Across the globe unions report a worsening of terms and conditions in the public services; Widening gap - What can be done to close the ever-widening gap between rich and poor?

LRD Centenary

Centenary News - February 1964 (254 words)

This month’s Centenary News takes a look at a campaign for shorter working hours. The February 1964 issue of Labour Research featured an item ...
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Unilever workers take strike action as walkouts hit HMRC (428 words)

A rolling programme of strike action hit consumer goods giant Unilever sites last month, while in the same week thousands of tax officers held ...
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Warning issued over rail project (234 words)

Rail unions have welcomed the government’s decision to proceed with the HS2 high-speed rail project. ...
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Little resolution in sight on public sector pensions issue (474 words)

The public sector pensions issue remains unresolved, with some unions, such as UNISON, the GMB and Prospect, committed to further talks with the ...
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Regional pay proposals blasted (181 words)

Plans by chancellor George Osborne to introduce regional differences in public sector pay are meeting stiff resistance. ...
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Ballot off at BBC (158 words)

Unions representing BBC staff have called off a strike ballot after management agreed to not introduce changes to staff terms and conditions ahead ...
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Self-employment  (89 words)

The rise in self-employment is not down to a resurgent enterprise culture, but is based on part-time “odd jobbers” desperate to avoid ...
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Unemployment continues to rise (207 words)

Unemployment rose by 118,000 in the three months to November to 2.69 million, official figures show. The Office for National Statistics said the ...
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Inflation falls on both measures (63 words)

Inflation fell on both the main measures due to lower fuel prices and cheaper clothing. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (389 words)

Inflation +4.8%, Average earnings +1.8% ...
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Union news

MPs throw out Tory attempt to sabotage union reps’ work (283 words)

MPs last month rejected a Conservative attempt to undermine the work of union reps, particularly in the public sector. ...
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PCS and Unite (97 words)

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil service union, has made clear he is interested in closer relations with the UK’s largest ...
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European news

New Spanish government imposes further austerity (454 words)

The newly-elected centre-right government in Spain has wasted little time in imposing new austerity measures on the country. It is also looking to ...
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Italian unions hope for agreement (209 words)

The three main Italian union confederations are hoping for an agreement in their discussions with the government on changes to employment rights. ...
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Greek job cuts hit trouble (249 words)

Plans to cut public sector jobs in Greece by moving 28,000 civil servants into a labour reserve” have been described as “bordering on ...
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Pensions strike boosts trade union recruitment (1,974 words)

Unions have reported an upsurge in recruitment in the wake of last November’s pensions strike. ...
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Organising vulnerable workers (1,737 words)

Initiatives funded through the final round of the Union Modernisation Fund have helped ensure that unions are better able to protect vulnerable ...
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Precarious work is on the rise (1,645 words)

Research by the Labour Research Department covering over 60 countries finds unions alarmed by worsening terms and conditions in public services. ...
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Tackling the widening gap (1,679 words)

Curbing excessive top pay is all very well, but unions say more must be done at both ends of the pay divide to close the gap between rich and poor. ...
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Law Matters

Proposed tribunal charges revealed (435 words)

Last December, the coalition government launched a consultation on charging fees in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, as well ...
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New limits to tribunal awards this month (208 words)

The increases to the levels at which tribunals awards are paid from this month have been announced by the coalition government. ...
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Curbs on working in UK (244 words)

The coalition government is extending work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals for another two years until 2013. ...
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Law Queries

Racism (231 words)

Q. We suspected a member of spreading race hate at our branch. We confronted him, in particular about some leaflets distributed at a recent meeting. ...
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Gender change (214 words)

Q. A member recently mentioned to the team that they are thinking of changing their gender. They endured a bit of teasing, but even after making it ...
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TUPE (266 words)

Q. Our members work in the canteen providing hot meals prepared on site. However, the employer recently carried out a consultation about its plan to ...
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Law Back-up

Tribunals rubber stamp contract changes (887 words)

The 2006 Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) is supposed to protect employees’ terms and conditions when ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Reps key to safety on offshore oil rigs (294 words)

Safety reps have a crucial role to play, but may feel intimidated into not reporting safety concerns, an independent investigation into the UK ...
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Asbestos plan slammed (237 words)

Unions have called on the government to drop its plans to shift the responsibility for dealing with asbestos in schools from local authorities onto ...
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Diabetes link (132 words)

Prolonged working on rotating night shifts puts women at an increased risk of suffering type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. ...
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Mines rescue (120 words)

The coalition government has come under attack over its failure to provide funding to the privately run Mines Rescue Service. ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Cameron wants to ‘kill off’ health and safety (923 words)

Unions are to combat the coalition government’s misguided and dangerous idea to kill off health and safety at work. Back-up investigates. ...
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Equality news

Action plan aims to help trans people (372 words)

At the end of 2011, the coalition government released details of an action plan to tackle the inequalities facing transgender people in society with ...
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Judges need to become more representative (253 words)

A consultation on changes to way the judges are appointed is currently being conducted by the Ministry of Justice. ...
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Legal aid lobbying (262 words)

Last month, the Unite general union joined over 30 legal organisations and charities in writing to The Times newspaper demanding that legal aid be ...
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Workplace Back-up

Age discrimination still rife in British society (885 words)

Age-related discrimination and stereotyping remain “rooted in British society”, according to a new study. Back-up looks at its findings. ...
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Standing for something: life in the awkward squad (264 words)

Author Mark Seddon joined the Labour Party aged 15. ...
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The limerickiad: volume 1: Gilgamesh to Shakespeare (176 words)

Martin Rowson, Smokestack Books, hardback, £9.99 ...
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e-views (408 words)

Changes in technology and their impact on the world have been relentless over the last few years, and 2012 doesn’t look to be any different. ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (50 words)

The LRD annual general meeting will be held on Monday, 16 April 2012, starting at 2.00 pm at Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London, SE1 0LN. ...
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