Labour Research April 2012

Tribunal charges - TUC race policy officer Wilf Sullivan looks at how the introduction of tribunal fees will impact on black workers; Housing Benefit cuts - The government's cap on Housing Benefit will lead to hardship and disruption for many low-income families; Unions and youth - What are unions doing to recruit, organise and support the young workers who will be their future lifeblood?; Far right - The far right may have suffered considerable setbacks, but unions cannot afford to be complacent

LRD Centenary

Labour Research Department launches Centenary Appeal (302 words)

For 100 years, the Labour Research Department (LRD) has been publishing news and information and undertaking research to support the trade union ...
Subscribers only

Centenary News (278 words)

In March 1984, the historic year-long miners’ strike began. In April of that year, Labour Research carried its first report of the strike, ...
Subscribers only


Unions deplore youth rate freeze (395 words)

The Low Pay Commission was facing heavy criticism from unions after the government accepted its recommendation to freeze the National Minimum Wage ...
Subscribers only

Local pay bargaining plan is ‘cruel’ and ‘economically incompetent’ (395 words)

Plans to introduce local pay bargaining for the public sector have been strongly criticised by unions who say it will simply serve to push areas ...
Subscribers only

Olympic trading hours opposed (262 words)

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has said it is “vehemently opposed” to government plans to lift restrictions on Sunday trading during ...
Subscribers only

Police contract gives rise to alarm (249 words)

The UNISON and Unite unions have joined forces to warn of a £1.5 billion contract being advertised by West Midlands and Surrey police forces to ...
Open access

Joblessness continues to rise (197 words)

Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment was up once more — by 28,000 to 2.67 million in the three months ending January 2012 ...
Open access

Fuel prices help to lower inflation (68 words)

Lower gas and electricity prices helped push inflation down. Under the Retail Prices Index (RPI), the annual rate of inflation was down to 3.7% in ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (391 words)

Inflation +3.7%, Average earnings +0.7% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

MP demands parliamentary debate over blacklisting claims (313 words)

Labour MP John McDonnell is to demand a debate in Parliament about suspected collusion between the now disbanded blacklisting organisation, The ...
Subscribers only

Diversity fears are not realised (311 words)

The TUC’s annual equality monitoring of delegates at annual Congress has indicated that the smaller event of 2011 did not have an overall ...
Subscribers only

Trades councils (118 words)

Updated rules and guidance for trades union councils and county associations have been published by the TUC as a result of the boom in new trades ...
Open access

Facility time (132 words)

Cabinet secretary Nick Hurd last month confirmed that the government consultation over cutting facility time in the civil service was ...
Open access

European news

Attack on employment rights meets with general strike call in Spain (373 words)

Spain’s two main union confederations, the CCOO and UGT, last month called a general strike to protest at the changes in employment rights ...
Subscribers only

Unfair dismissal changes slammed by Italian unions (272 words)

Changes in employment rights being introduced by the Italian government look certain to remove the right of employees to be reinstated if a court ...
Subscribers only

Unemployment hike hits Greece (144 words)

Figures from the Greek statistical service ELSTAT indicate the growing human cost of the financial crisis and austerity in Greece. ...
Open access

Estonia experiences wave of strikes (101 words)

Teachers in Estonia staged a three-day strike last month, calling for a 20% increase in their pay which was cut in a series of austerity measures in 2 ...
Open access


Pricing justice out of reach? (2,332 words)

Coalition proposals to introduce fees to access employment tribunals will further undermine black workers’ chances of obtaining justice, ...
Open access

Benefit ceiling will floor low-income households (1,588 words)

Housing Benefit changes will mean misery for many low-income families. ...
Subscribers only

Do unions have youth appeal? (2,033 words)

If unions are to thrive in the long term, they need to attract, recruit and organise young workers. So how are they going about this? ...
Subscribers only

Anti-fascists warn of far right realignment (1,503 words)

There has been a dramatic decline in the fortunes of the British National Party, but other developments on the far right mean there is no room for ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Unite wins over strike ballot challenge (406 words)

The Unite general union has won a vital victory in a ballot over industrial action. ...
Subscribers only

Bill aims to equalise adoption benefits (274 words)

An attempt to iron out an anomaly so that adoptive parents enjoy the same benefits as a natural mother has been made in a Labour MP’s Private ...
Subscribers only

Parental leave rise delayed (258 words)

Improvements to parental leave have been postponed for a year by the coalition government. ...
Subscribers only

Law Queries

Flexible working (310 words)

Q. A member is keen to reduce his hours so that he can help more with raising his children. The employer is dismissive about the need for him to do ...
Subscribers only

Maternity pay (201 words)

Q. A few of our members are currently on maternity leave. We have managed to secure a pay rise at last, but the employer is refusing to pass it on ...
Open access

Guarantee pay (223 words)

Q. Our employer is laying off some members of staff as orders from customers are unusually low. Although management does have a contractual right to ...
Open access

Law Back-up

Workers’ worries over safety got them sacked (941 words)

Disputes over health and safety rules are common. Back-up examines two disputes that ended in tribunal cases. ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Stress at work rises in economic downturn (304 words)

One in four workers experience work-related stress during a recession, according to a new study. ...
Subscribers only

Pressure brings absence (206 words)

The practice of “high involvement management” causes increased short-term absence, studies have found. ...
Open access

Prison staff want ban on smoking in cells (132 words)

Prison officers have called for prisons to be smoke-free workplaces as staff continue to be exposed to passive smoking. ...
Open access

Women workers face miscarriage worry (111 words)

Pregnant workers exposed to sterilising chemicals, x-rays and chemotherapy drugs are significantly more likely to miscarry, according to a study ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

It’s a day for action and a day for remembering (928 words)

Workers’ Memorial Day, 28 April, is an international day of remembrance for workers and reps across the world killed, injured or made ill by ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

Employers will need to rely on older staff (333 words)

Older workers will play an essential role in preventing a future employment deficit caused by a drop in the number of young people joining the ...
Subscribers only

Families hit by double whammy over childcare (310 words)

Some parents could be forced to leave their jobs as a result of being hit by both rising nursery fees and the government’s decision to cut ...
Subscribers only

Women hit barriers in banking industry (144 words)

Nearly half of women employed in the banking sector said barriers at work hindered their career, according to a report from the Institute of ...
Open access

Incapacity benefit (102 words)

The TUC has said that incapacity benefit tests are failing disabled people after the latest results of the government’s incapacity benefit ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Once, twice, three times a woman in jeopardy (918 words)

Women’s incomes and living standards are under attack from all sides under the onslaught of the coalition government’s austerity cuts. ...
Subscribers only


Black British rebels (236 words)

Figures from working class ...
Open access

Rebel cities (212 words)

From the Right to the City to the Urban ...
Open access


e-views (388 words)

There has been a lot of coverage recently regarding Google’s new privacy policy. ...
Subscribers only

News from LRD

News from LRD (62 words)

The Labour Research Department annual general meeting is on Monday 16 April from 2pm at Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London SE1 0LN (the nearest ...
Open access