Labour Research October 2012

BME representation - A new Labour Research survey asks what unions are doing to improve black and minority ethnic participation; A voice at Westminster - Trade union parliamentary groups see unions and politicians combining to raise union concerns; Union-party links - There is a diversity of relationships and links between unions and political parties across Europe; Free schools - The government's free schools programme is proving to be a drain on education resources

LRD Centenary

Centenary News (258 words)

As the TUC prepares for its first ever woman general secretary in Frances O’Grady, we take a look back to the TUC Congress of 1956. ...
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Unions press on in fight to preserve Remploy factories (359 words)

The painful, drawn-out process of closing Remploy factories and throwing disabled workers out of work rolled on last month. This was despite strike ...
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Marching for a future that works (268 words)

With preparations in hand for the TUC’s A future that works demonstration on 20 October, the NUT and NASUWT teachers’ unions announced ...
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Health and safety falls foul of government’s ‘red tape’ drive (396 words)

The regime of health and safety inspections is to be slackened as part of a drive against “red tape” by the Conservative-led coalition ...
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Re-nationalisation gathers steam (251 words)

There has been some unexpectedly good news from the privatised railway network, as it emerged that the row over the West Coast mainline franchise ...
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TUC headed by all-female team (246 words)

Lesley Mercer, a senior official at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), is joining Frances O’Grady, the new TUC general secretary, ...
Open access

Unemployment edges down (219 words)

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment fell by just 7,000 in the three months to July to 2.59 million compared with the previous ...
Open access

Inflation falls on both measures (60 words)

Inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell to 2.9% in August, down from 3.2% in July. Downward pressures on the rate included ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (407 words)

Inflation +2.9%, Average earnings +1.4% ...
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Union news

New approaches will help win over private sector workers (328 words)

Unions must find innovative approaches to increase membership and influence in the private sector if the movement is to have a healthy future, ...
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‘Historic partnership’ in the offing for UNISON and GMB (277 words)

Austerity, cutbacks and attacks on the union movement appear to be having the effect of increasing co-operation between sometimes competitive unions. ...
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LGBT Scotland (79 words)

The Scottish TUC held its first annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference last month, marking the creation of a formal LGBT equality ...
Open access

Revise recognition rules, says Unite (165 words)

Statutory rules on union recognition must be revised to avoid the situation as at News International (NI) where independent unions cannot get ...
Open access

European news

Commission drops plans for new strike arrangements on cross border conflicts (419 words)

The European Commission has abandoned its proposal for legislation which would have provided new arrangements for strikes involving cross border ...
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Southern Europe faces fresh austerity (459 words)

Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are all about to be hit by a new series of measures further driving down workers’ pay and conditions and cutting ...
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BME leadership: how are UK unions faring? (2,313 words)

What are unions doing to encourage BME members to participate in the life of the union and to move up the union ranks? ...
Open access

The unions’ voice in Parliament (2,160 words)

As the Labour Party holds its annual conference, Labour Research looks at how unions and (predominantly Labour) MPs and peers continue to work ...
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Euro unions’ political links (1,685 words)

Unions have consistently sought a political voice to advance workers’ broader interests, although across Europe, these political links vary ...
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True cost of free schools (1,671 words)

Unions say the government’s flagship free schools programme is a waste of public money and is likely to harm, rather than improve, education. ...
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Law Matters

Reasons for resigning in dismissal case (357 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that in a constructive dismissal claim a fundamental breach of contract must be a reason, but need ...
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Employer in wrong over death-in-service benefit (299 words)

Can an employer avoid paying death in service benefit by dismissing the employee before they die? ...
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Refuseniks go to Europe (249 words)

Despite contrary advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, two Christians are trying to establish a right in the European courts to ...
Open access

Law Queries

Whistleblowing (252 words)

Q. A member is aware of an unlawful practice at their place of work. Instead of being grateful to the employee for spotting this, the employer has ...
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Night shifts (178 words)

Q. Our member works night shifts only. She recently discovered that she was pregnant and is worried about the health implications of working at ...
Open access

Recognition (283 words)

Q. I am a long-term member of a union, but at my new workplace neither my union nor any other is currently recognised. I asked about this and a few ...
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Law Back-up

Is it legally watertight to have a pool of one? (986 words)

For a variety of reasons, many employers are opting to create redundancy pools of just one person. Is this lawful? Back-up reports on two recent ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Recession linked to spike in suicide rates (290 words)

The impact of the recession on suicide rates has been established by researchers from three universities. ...
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Injuries to temp staff (238 words)

Agency workers are more vulnerable to suffering workplace injuries than regular employees, according to a new study by Canada’s Institute for ...
Open access

Nanofibres are hazard at work (254 words)

Tiny fibres produced by the nanotech industry are as hazardous to health as asbestos fibres, new research has shown. ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Campaign for justice over blacklist goes on (883 words)

More than three years after the discovery of a secret blacklist containing the names of more than 3,200 construction workers, the fight for justice ...
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Equality news

Poor health prevents older people working (420 words)

Disability and poor health are preventing nearly half a million people approaching retirement from working, a figure that will only increase as the ...
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Coalition cuts hit ethnic minorities’ education (234 words)

Inequality in educational provision is set to increase for ethnic minority pupils, according to research by the NASUWT teachers’ union. ...
Open access

Problems of being black and gay (230 words)

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people from black and minority ethnic groups can encounter serious problems when accessing public services, from education ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Apprenticeships: SMES are the real novices (855 words)

The government has responded to recommendations made by the Holt Review which was commissioned to examine what more could be done to help small and ...
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Scattered sand (207 words)

The story of China’s rural ...
Open access

African struggles today (181 words)

Social movements since ...
Open access


e-views (398 words)

I’ve managed and developed a number of union websites over the years. However, a project I’ve recently completed presented a totally ...
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