Labour Research December 2013

Performance management - Bullying performance management practices are increasingly leading to workers being “managed out” of their jobs; The rise of zero hours - There has been a steep rise in the use of zero hours contracts. How are unions responding? What’s going on with pay? - Does talk of economic growth mean that the squeeze on pay is coming to an end? Christmas books – The staff at the Bookmarks socialist bookshop suggest books you may like to give as Christmas gifts


More needed by government to resolve crisis of care (476 words)

The government has gone some way to react to the need for more nurses in its response to the Francis report on the Mid-Staffordshire care crisis. ...
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Cuts and de-recognition pointed up (186 words)

Yorkshire paramedics lobbied MPs on 20 November over funding cuts to the ambulance service and de-recognition of their union, Unite, by the ...
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Post Office and Royal Mail disputes (130 words)

There are two separate national disputes involving members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU). ...
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London Underground (100 words)

Transport union RMT is balloting its members on the London Underground over the issue of casualisation and threats to jobs and conditions. The ...
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Call for wide-ranging boost for UK’s transport sector (262 words)

A wide-ranging boost to the transport sector is needed, focusing not just on investment but also on safety and the quality of service and conditions ...
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Review of union conduct ‘a stunt’ (244 words)

The government busied itself setting up a review into union conduct in industrial disputes last month, in what looked like little more than a witch ...
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Pensions action (85 words)

The lack of progress over the requirement for firefighters to work longer and pay more for their pensions (see Labour Research, November 2013, page ...
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Ineos (75 words)

On 28 October, after accepting a plan to keep the Ineos petrochemical plant in Grangemouth open, the Unite union confirmed that senior shop steward ...
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Hypertac pays up (83 words)

Thirty long-term shop floor workers facing the sack from manufacturing firm Hypertac have won an improved redundancy package. This follows a direct ...
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Underemployed at record levels (219 words)

Unemployment has fallen but the number of underemployed people was at its highest level since records began. ...
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Inflation lowest for a year (71 words)

Inflation hit its lowest level for over a year. The annual rate of inflation — as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — was down to 2.6% ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (398 words)

Inflation +2.6%, Average earnings +0.9% ...
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Union news

Union-bashing Bill threatens membership confidentiality (428 words)

Union membership confidentiality is under serious threat from Part 3 of the Lobbying Bill — the part which gives the state access to union ...
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Offer by blacklisters ‘a travesty’ (238 words)

A compensation scheme for blacklisted workers proposed by the largest companies involved has been slammed by construction union UCATT and the BSG ...
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Unite defends ‘leverage’ tactics (114 words)

The leader of general union Unite, Len McCluskey, has responded robustly to media and Tory criticism of the union’s “leverage” campaigning ...
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European news

New law will help close Germany’s gender pay gap (402 words)

The negotiations on exactly what will be in the government programme for the new coalition in Germany are still going on. However, it is already ...
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Plan for investment outlined (268 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has put forward its own plan to create investment and jobs in Europe. ...
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‘Stability law’ provokes strikes in Italy (167 words)

Italy’s three main union confederations, CGIL, CISL and UIL, organised a week of strikes last month against the government’s plans for a ...
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Solidarnosc shipyard may close (73 words)

The shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, which was the birthplace of the Solidarnosc union in 1980, faces closure unless its owners come forward with new ...
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Time to ring down the curtain on this performance (1,978 words)

New forms of performance management are causing misery for thousands of workers. ...
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Tackling zero hours exploitation (2,173 words)

Zero hours contracts have risen sharply up the political agenda in recent months as it becomes increasingly clear that their use has spread ...
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Analysing pay since the Crash (1,677 words)

There is much talk of economic growth. But does this mean that the squeeze on incomes is coming to an end? Labour Research investigates. ...
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Festive reading for all ages (1,292 words)

The staff at the Bookmarks socialist bookshop make their annual suggestions for books for festive gifts, some based on their 2013 bestsellers. ...
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Law Matters

Government fails in appeal over workfare (364 words)

The Supreme Court has confirmed that the government’s work-for-benefits schemes were unlawful, rejecting an appeal by the Department for Work and ...
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A third of successful claimants get nothing (239 words)

A government-commissioned report — The Payment of Tribunal Awards 2013 Study — shows that a shocking 35% of successful employment tribunal ...
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Sharp fall in tribunal claims (234 words)

Employment tribunal claims have fallen sharply following the introduction of tribunal fees, official figures suggest. ...
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Law Queries

Holidays over Christmas (265 words)

Q. Can my employer force me to work on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve? If I am made to work these days, am I entitled to overtime ...
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Religious observance (253 words)

Q. As a committed Christian, I strongly believe in keeping Sunday as a day of worship. When I got my job as a care worker in a residential ...
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Definition of disability (231 words)

Q. My member has suffered from lower back pain for nearly two years. He spends most of his working day on his feet but his condition now means he ...
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Law Back-up

TUPE proposals attack terms and conditions (858 words)

The government has published planned changes to the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). These amount to a ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Green card reforms get the green light (344 words)

The Construction Skills and Certification Scheme (CSCS) is due to reform the labourers’ green card scheme, by requiring mandatory health and ...
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UNISON highlights stress (178 words)

The UNISON public services union has launched new leaflets and stickers with the message “Cut stress not jobs” as part of its health and safety ...
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TUC queries injury statistics (255 words)

Provisional figures published in October by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show an 11% drop in major occupational injuries in 2012-13 ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Unions signal alarm over move on asbestos (815 words)

Unions have been dismayed by a leaked report indicating that a steering group set up to monitor asbestos in schools may be disbanded. Back-up reports. ...
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Equality news

TUC highlights ‘huge injustice’ of pay gap (349 words)

It is a “huge injustice” that women still earn thousands of pounds a year less than men, said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady marking ...
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Charities warned over intern exploitation (153 words)

The Unite union has warned top charities exploiting unpaid interns that it will report them to HM Customs & Revenue (HMRC). ...
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Welfare campaign (101 words)

Public services union UNISON is supporting the WOW disability campaign and petition calling for an end to the ”war on welfare”. ...
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Combating racism (134 words)

Anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) has teamed up with the TUC’s Unionlearn education and skills arm to combat racism. SRTRC uses ...
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Workplace Back-up

Gender segregation impacts on the young (816 words)

The proportion of young women doing low-paid, low-skill jobs has trebled over the last 20 years, according to new TUC-commissioned research carried ...
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Command and control (225 words)

Eric Schlosser, Allen Lane, 656 pages, hardback, £25 ...
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The Amistad Rebellion (205 words)

An Atlantic odyssey of slavery and ...
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e-views (393 words)

It’s been a year since I first undertook research to see which unions are the most influential in social media, so I’ve now updated the results ...
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News from LRD

Labour Research Department AGM (85 words)

The 2014 Labour Research Department annual general meeting will be on Monday 19 May 2014, from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London SE1 0LN. ...
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