Labour Research July 2015

Union membership - What’s been happening to levels of union membership - in particular, how did these fare during the years of the Tory-led coalition government?

Health and safety - A new Labour Research - survey looks at UK unions’ top health and safety concerns and examines the health and safety services they provide for their members.

Worldwide unions - The work of global union federations goes beyond symbolic appeals for international solidarity, as Labour Research reports


‘Mobility’ dilemma as private sector struggles to fill jobs gap (393 words)

A new report on worker mobility says that the movement of workers into the private sector will need to grow to prevent former public sector workers ...
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Problem of too few hours persists (281 words)

New analysis shows that under-employment — where workers have fewer hours of work than they want — affects nearly a million more people than ...
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Industrial news (246 words)

Steel unions Community, Unite, GMB and UCATT have suspended industrial action at Tata Steel, after the employers tabled a revised offer which would ...
Open access

Tube management railroading through new rosters, say unions (345 words)

Rail unions have warned of chaos if plans by London Underground Limited (LUL) to introduce a 24-hour service on weekend tube travel go ahead. ...
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Sell-off will ‘short-change’ public (198 words)

General union Unite has slammed chancellor George Osborne for selling off the public stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank received £45 ...
Open access

Tribunal fees (123 words)

The announcement that there will be a review into the impact of employment tribunal fees has been welcomed — but the TUC said it must not be a ...
Open access

Housing (134 words)

Construction union UCATT has attacked the government’s decision to bring forward manifesto commitments to extend the Right to Buy to housing ...
Open access

Unemployment falls once more (212 words)

Unemployment has continued to fall in the spring of 2015. ...
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Inflation rises (66 words)

Inflation rose in May on the back of higher transport costs, including air fares. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (414 words)

Inflation +1.0%; Average earnings +2.6% ...
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Union news

Tory crackdown on political funds denounced by unions (388 words)

Unions have condemned the Tory plan — announced in the Queens’ Speech in May — to change the rules by which union members contribute to their ...
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PCS backs proportional representation (49 words)

The PCS civil service union has nailed its colours to the mast of proportional representation (PR) for Westminster elections. ...
Open access

Midwives’ union joins TUC (181 words)

The TUC has welcomed the decision of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to become a TUC affiliate. The RCM will be the first royal college to be a ...
Open access

Janet Davies takes over at RCN (41 words)

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has appointed Janet Davies as its chief executive and general secretary from this month. She takes over from Peter ...
Open access

GMB leader (115 words)

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB general union, is to be knighted for “services to trade unions”. ...
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Victimised reps (140 words)

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the Rotherham Advertiser last month called off their strike when management changed its mind over making ...
Open access

European news

German law changes rules on collective agreements (402 words)

Legislation setting out new rules for collective agreements has gone through both houses of the German parliament, and is likely to come into effect ...
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Polish unions win representation right (242 words)

Poland’s highest court has ruled that current legislation stating that only those with an employment contract can join unions, is not in line with ...
Open access

Support for Greece (73 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called for a change of policy on Greece. ...
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Employee representation (123 words)

New rules on workplace employee representation have been adopted by the national assembly in France. The legislation is intended to simplify the ...
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Pension protest (35 words)

Thousands of trade unionists have demonstrated in Brussels in opposition to government plans to increase the pension age to 67. ...
Open access


Membership challenge (1,643 words)

What happened to trade union membership during the years of the Tory-led coalition government? Labour Research reports. ...
Open access

Unions maintain focus on health and safety (2,641 words)

A new Labour Research survey of unions’ health and safety priorities and services finds that stress continues to top the list of union health and ...
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Making an impact on a global scale (2,102 words)

Global union federations continue to work to improve the lives of the world’s workers. Labour Research reports on their activities. ...
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Law Matters

Blacklist group seeks key role in inquiry (442 words)

The Blacklist Support Group (BSG) has applied for “core participant” status in the public inquiry set up by home secretary Theresa May to ...
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Appeal Court rules on teachers’ strike loss (143 words)

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the daily pay teachers lose when on strike must be based on 1/260th of annual salary, not 1/365th of annual salary. ...
Open access

‘Toothless ban‘ (122 words)

A government ban on exclusivity clauses in zer-hours contracts became law on 26 May 2015. But employment law experts say the measure is pointless. ...
Open access

Clarification - Tory strike proposals (131 words)

We have been asked to clarify a point on Tory strike ballot plans in last month’s issue (Working People in for a Tougher Time, Labour Research, ...
Open access

Law Queries

Dismissal and sickness (253 words)

Q. A member is facing dismissal for long-term sickness absence. She is currently on half-pay sick pay. She has eight years’ service and has a ...
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Flexible working request (350 words)

Q. I have two children under the age of six. Under the new flexible working rules, I want to make a request to work Mondays at home. My job is ...
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Social media (164 words)

Q. I am facing disciplinary action for posting something foolish and stupid about my line manager on my Facebook feed. But I only have 30 Facebook ...
Open access

Law Back-up

It’s still too risky for staff to blow whistle (877 words)

An expert has cautioned against anyone, without a thorough understanding of the very serious risks involved, blowing the whistle. Back-up ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Deal ‘could open door’ to safety problems (229 words)

The TUC has urged trade unionists to contact their MEPs to tell them that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), shouldn’t be ...
Open access

Public service cuts are harming mental health (213 words)

Cuts to public services are directly linked to mental health problems, according to campaign group Psychologists Against Austerity. ...
Open access

GMB reaches agreement on fracking (243 words)

The GMB general union has announced that it has reached agreement on a joint charter on shale gas with the UK oil and offshore organisation UKOOG. ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Advice on putting skin cancer in the shade (934 words)

The ICL study was commissioned by the health and safety professionals’ organisation IOSH as part of its No time to lose campaign to tackle ...
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Equality news

Flexible working needs flexible hiring (370 words)

Only 6% of job ads offer flexible working, while almost half of all employees want to work flexibly, according to a new study. The research, carried ...
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Discrimination not taken seriously, say teachers (228 words)

Less than a quarter of teachers feel their school takes the issue of discriminatory practices against staff seriously, a conference organised by the ...
Open access

Dementia at work (159 words)

The Alzheimer’s Society has warned that many more people will develop dementia at work, because of a combination of rising retirement ages and the ...
Open access

New MPs (75 words)

The House of Commons is now more diverse than it has ever been, with women now comprising 29% of the 650 MPs, up from 22% in the 2010 intake. This is ...
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Workplace Back-up

Do’s and don’ts of how to keep cool at work (883 words)

During cold weather there is a legal limit below which workplace temperatures should not fall (16°C), and where employers would be expected to take ...
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The deeper genome (196 words)

Why there is more to the human genome than meets the eye ...
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Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed (211 words)

Michael Rosen, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, £5.99 ...
Open access


e-views (414 words)

Every year in June I look at a number of industry metrics for all the TUC-affiliated trade union websites. To help unions see how their site has ...
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