Labour Research January 2015

The year ahead - Falling real wages mean that living standards will be among many issues on unions’ 2015 agenda

Voluntary sector - Huge public spending cuts and a sea change in funding regimes has wreaked havoc on the voluntary sector

Health and safety - The latest annual statistics from the Health and Safety Executive don’t seem to bode well for workplace safety

Local media under the cosh - Cuts and closures in local and regional media have not only seen job losses, but pose a threat to local democracy


Investigation reveals crippling staff shortages and low morale (362 words)

Workers at Border Force, the Home Office body responsible for UK border control operations, have revealed that they are unable to effectively protect ...
Subscribers only

Young people could decide election (302 words)

Four million “missing votes” from young people could decide this year’s general election, says the TUC. ...
Subscribers only

Industrial news (270 words)

NHS workers are continuing their campaign in support of a pay claim including the introduction of the Living Wage. ...
Subscribers only

Re-privatisation of East Coast mainline ‘a national disgrace’ (271 words)

The government’s decision to re-privatise the East Coast mainline franchise and award the contract to Virgin and Stagecoach has been branded “a ...
Subscribers only

Pilots issue zero hours warning (245 words)

The use of zero hours contracts and bogus self-employment are putting the future of the airline industry at risk, warns the pilots’ union BALPA. ...
Open access

University challenge (260 words)

The perceived cost of university education, no guarantee of a job and poor advice and guidance is putting key groups of young people off higher ...
Subscribers only

Poorer households fare worst (213 words)

The latest inflation figures for November show that the rise in the Retail Prices index (RPI) was down to a five-year low of 2.0% from 2.3% in ...
Open access

Jobless figures fall (67 words)

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment fell by 63,000 to 1.96 million in the three-month period ending October, compared with the ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (423 words)

Inflation +2.0%, Average earnings +1.8% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

Leaked document points to efforts to undermine PCS union (517 words)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) remains accused of plotting to undermine and isolate the PCS civil service union, despite claiming that it wants to ...
Subscribers only

Tesco agreement (217 words)

The Community union has reached what it calls a “ground breaking partnership agreement” with retail giant Tesco to improve worker representation ...
Open access

Political fund (57 words)

Members of public services union UNISON have voted overwhelmingly in favour of retaining their union’s political fund. The ballot resulted in 87% ...
Open access

Transgender network launched (98 words)

The CWU communication workers’ union launched a network for transgender members at its recent LGBT equality conference. The network will be hosted ...
Open access

European news

Women set to make inroads into largest German firms (319 words)

The German government is pressing ahead with plans to ensure that women take at least 30% of the places in the supervisory boards of the country’s ...
Subscribers only

Finland’s unions plan to merge (319 words)

Later this month, representatives of all Finnish unions will be invited to a meeting to discuss creating a new central organisation to replace the ...
Subscribers only

Jobs Act faces ongoing opposition (224 words)

Large parts of Italy ground to a halt last month as workers — 60% of the country’s workforce according to the unions — took strike action ...
Open access


Cost of living remains key (3,243 words)

Living standards will continue to be among the issues exercising trade unions in the year ahead. The Labour Research staff report. ...
Subscribers only

Big Society has big problems (1,734 words)

The voluntary sector has been increasingly squeezed under the Tory-led coalition government. Labour Research investigates. ...
Subscribers only

Is health and safety being weakened? (1,921 words)

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Health and Safety Executive. But celebrations will be somewhat muted by the latest ...
Open access

Local media — an endangered species (1,677 words)

Jobs continue to be slashed in the local and regional media — with implications for local democracy. ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Slavery bill criticised (240 words)

December 2014 saw the continued passage of the government’s Modern Slavery Bill though the House of Lords and the launch of the Modern slavery ...
Open access

Campaigners call to reverse tied visa system (223 words)

Campaigning groups have called on the government to use the Modern Slavery Bill (see item above left) to reverse a policy change made by the ...
Open access

Valuing pension losses: New guidance issued (366 words)

A Court of Appeal ruling contains useful new guidance on valuing pension losses in the employment tribunal. ...
Subscribers only

Law Queries

Relocation (286 words)

Q. My employer is relocating to a new building on the other side of town. I can’t move because the new offices are too far away for me to be able ...
Subscribers only

Restructuring and maternity (327 words)

Q. I am on maternity leave and my employer has announced a restructuring, closing down the call centre where I work. My employer operates other call ...
Subscribers only

Redundancy and disability (124 words)

Q. I have a disability — chronic back pain — for which I have to take regular days off for physiotherapy. My employer is carrying out a ...
Open access

Law Back-up

Using smart technology may not always be smart (885 words)

It has never been easier to record interactions with management. But is this approach actually wise? Back-up explores the issues. ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Umbrella firms rain problems on workers (237 words)

Construction union UCATT is continuing to campaign against umbrella companies and held an Umbrella Company Day of Action at the end of last year with ...
Open access

Assaults against health workers on the increase (234 words)

Rising numbers of NHS staff in England are being assaulted at work, leading one health union to speak of concerns over cuts. The figures were ...
Open access

Newly-qualified teachers face stress (237 words)

A poll of newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) by the NASUWT teachers’ union has shown the amount of stress and pressure NQTs experience. ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

How can we tackle work-related stress? (895 words)

Work-related stress was named as a top five hazard by union health and safety reps responding to the TUC’s latest biennial health and safety ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

Employers are failing the pregnancy test (374 words)

Tribunal complaints involving pregnant women went up by a fifth during the recession, according to the TUC. ...
Subscribers only

Teachers’ union issues equality challenge (246 words)

The NASUWT teachers’ union has issued a Gender Equality Challenge — a UK-wide initiative which will give schools the opportunity to showcase how ...
Open access

Transgender (123 words)

The TUC is calling for specialist support services for trans people to be protected from government spending cuts and for an end to violence against ...
Open access

Adjustments (112 words)

Many employers are failing to ask about reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process, reveals new research. ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

More action needed to build workforce skills (864 words)

Urgent action is needed to improve skills levels and how they are developed, says a new report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills ...
Subscribers only


A Rebel’s Guide to Eleanor Marx Siobhan Brown (132 words)

Bookmarks Publications, 64 pages, £3 ...
Open access

Nottingham Rising (257 words)

The Great Cheese Riot of 1766 & the 1831 Reform Riots ...
Subscribers only


e-views (417 words)

Unionlearn, the learning and skills organisation of the TUC, helps unions and union learning reps (ULRs) to deliver learning opportunities. ...
Subscribers only

News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (94 words)

The 2015 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) will be held on Monday 18 May, 2015 from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union ...
Open access