Labour Research July 2012

Facility time - In many other European countries facility time arrangements are more generous than in the UK; Europe's far right - The severe economic crisis is providing a fertile breeding ground for far right groups across Europe; 1912-2012 - We mark the Labour Research Department's 100th birthday this month with a look at trade unionism since 1912; Developing lay leaders - How can senior lay reps confront the challenges they face? A new TUC training course aims to help them

LRD Centenary

Centenary News (240 words)

July is the month when the Labour Research Department was founded or, to be more precise, when its precursor, the Committee of Inquiry on the ...
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Voting gets under way over local government pension changes (418 words)

While the dispute over changes to the NHS pension scheme rages on, intense negotiations on the future of the local government pension scheme (LGPS) ...
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Unpaid work scheme extended (259 words)

The TUC last month accused the government of forcing people to work for free, following the announcement that mandatory work activity for the ...
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Teachers’ unions form pact to counter attacks on profession (380 words)

Teachers’ unions the NUT and NASUWT have announced an “historic agreement” to co-operate in the face of government attacks, not ...
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Government under fire for failure to intervene over oil refinery job cuts (271 words)

The government was under fire last month over its failure to do everything possible to save the 850 jobs at risk at the Coryton oil refinery in Essex. ...
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Union violations (98 words)

Trade unionists across the world faced a worsening situation last year, according to the annual survey of trade union rights violations published by ...
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TUC demonstration (41 words)

The TUC is organising a mass demonstration in London in the autumn under the banner A future that works. General secretary Brendan Barber said that ...
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Rail campaign (94 words)

Thousands of jobs in the UK railway industry could be lost because of the government’s reforms to the industry, unions said as they launched ...
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Unemployment rate is down (224 words)

Unemployment fell on the main count, official figures show. Under the Labour Force survey count, unemployed numbers fell by 51,000 in the three ...
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New inflation measure (66 words)

A new official measure of inflation could be introduced by February next year. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (394 words)

Inflation +3.1%, Average earnings +1.9% ...
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Union news

Union survey reveals failure of global austerity measures (381 words)

A trade union-commissioned poll conducted across 13 countries, including the UK, reveals deep uncertainty, fear and political disempowerment by ...
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NUJ puts rescue plan in place (258 words)

The huge jobs cull in local and regional newspapers in recent years has put the future of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in jeopardy. ...
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Equality reps (139 words)

Most union equality reps believe they are having a positive impact on employers’ equality practices, according to the first national survey ...
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Social media (87 words)

An international trade union initiative has been launched using social media for information, campaigning and education on labour movement issues. ...
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European news

Hollande makes promised cut to retirement age increase (293 words)

In line with his promise made during the election campaign, the new French president, François Hollande, is cutting the retirement age for ...
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French unions increase membership (67 words)

Both the CGT and CFDT have recently published membership figures. And, although the two confederations use different methods to calculate their ...
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Stay of execution as workers at Opel factory hang on to jobs (309 words)

After months of uncertainty, workers at the Opel car factory in Bochum in Germany’s Ruhr region have been promised that their plant will stay ...
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Pay cuts reversed in Romania (137 words)

Romania’s new prime minister, Victor Ponta, has stated that the 25% public sector pay cuts, which were introduced two years ago will be fully ...
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Membership stable in Poland (118 words)

Figures from the research organisation CBOS in Poland suggest that union membership in the country has been broadly stable for the last six years. ...
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Euro-unions can count on time off (2,129 words)

In contrast to the UK, there is a clear right to a set amount of time off for trade union duties elsewhere in Europe. ...
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Far right on the rise in Europe (1,465 words)

Across Europe, there has been an alarming growth in right-wing populist parties, far right networks and street armies, warns Weyman Bennett. ...
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Unions: a century not out (2,094 words)

The Labour Research Department celebrates its centenary this month. We mark this anniversary with a feature by Keith Flett examining the changes in ...
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Developing the lay leadership (1,914 words)

A new TUC training programme is equipping senior lay reps with the skills they need to negotiate the challenges faced by today’s unions. ...
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Law Matters

Government targets more law reforms (358 words)

The coalition government has announced which of the recommended employment law reforms, raised in the Beecroft report, it intends to adopt. ...
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Medic’s disciplinary didn’t breach his human rights (274 words)

The issue as to whether or not article 6 of the 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA), the right to a fair hearing, applies in the context of internal ...
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Seafarers to get better conditions? (220 words)

The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently published a consultation document on regulations which would improve UK seafarers’ employment ...
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Law Queries

Whistleblowing (230 words)

Q. Our employer was operating an unsafe working practice — asking a member to use machinery they haven’t been trained on, without ...
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Harassment (275 words)

Q. One of our members is not a British or EU national, but does have a temporary right to work in the UK. They have shown the employer their ...
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No-fault dismissals (213 words)

Q. We have heard that the government is introducing no-fault dismissals — that is, the employer will be able to dismiss people at will. ...
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Law Back-up

Coalition wants to take step back on rights (919 words)

The government is proposing sweeping changes to the Equality Act 2010 as well as to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Back-up ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Labour targets firms that dodge liability (282 words)

The Labour Party has committed itself to tackle the problem of phoenix firms escaping their liabilities over breaches of health and safety law. ...
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New European rules a bad deal for UK pilots (228 words)

New rules put forward by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) concerning working hours and conditions for pilots and cabin crew across the EU ...
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Unite wants members’ input on safety policy (126 words)

The general union Unite wants to hear from its members about the impact that the coalition government’s policies are having on health and ...
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Chemicals website (101 words)

SUBSPORT is an online database aimed at organisations which currently use hazardous chemicals. ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Airborne killer found in contaminated water (818 words)

Last month’s outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has put contaminated water in the spotlight. Back-up examines recent incidents and the ...
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Equality news

Education policy hits social mobility plans (417 words)

The UCU university and college union has questioned the government’s commitment to improve social mobility in light of the policies it is ...
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Tax credit changes hit retail staff in pocket (305 words)

A fifth of members of the GMB general union working in retail report that they may be better off on the dole because of the tax credit changes ...
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Pension gender gap ‘narrows’ this year (169 words)

The good news is that the gender gap in expected retirement incomes has fallen. The bad news is that the gap has closed mainly because of a fall in ...
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Working pensioner numbers on rise (98 words)

The number of people working beyond the state pension age has almost doubled over the past 18 years, according to the Office for National Statistics ...
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Workplace Back-up

Lowdown on where to find what workers earn (854 words)

With the cost of living still rising faster than wages, Back-up takes a critical look at pay levels and where to find pay information. ...
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When the Clyde ran red (225 words)

Maggie Craig, Mainstream Publishing, 272 pages, hardback, £12.99 ...
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Railsea (228 words)

China Miéville, Macmillan, 384 pages, hardback, £17.99 ...
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e-views (397 words)

There was a lot of interest in my report in last month’s Labour Research about trade unions and search engine optimisation (SEO) — the ...
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