Labour Research February 2016

Unions and trans workers - A new Labour Research survey finds that unions are tackling the issues faced by trans workers; Trade agreement - Yet another international trade agreement presents a grave threat to public services; Migrants and benefitsLabour Research examines government claims that migrants come to Britain to claim benefits; Fracking - The government wants to develop the shale gas industry. What do unions have to say?


Axeing of NHS bursaries will hit thousands of students
 (315 words)

There has been anger at government plans to axe NHS bursaries for nurses and other healthcare workers, with public sector union UNISON describing the ...
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Trade Union Bill criticised by Lords
 (320 words)

The second reading of the Trade Union Bill saw a heated debate in the House of Lords last month (see also page 7).
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Industrial news (256 words)

The British Medical Association (BMA) last month suspended the 48 hours of strike action by junior hospital doctors which had been planned to start ...
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Urgent action called for over plight of UK’s steel industry
 (267 words)

Unions have called for immediate government action to save the UK steel industry. This follows the announcement that the Tata steel company plans to ...
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Union attacks ‘flexible licensing’
 (203 words)

Construction union UCATT has reacted angrily to government proposals to relax the licensing of gangmasters. The announcement came as part of the ...
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Post Office
 (112 words)

The Post Office has said it is seeking “franchise partners” within the retail sector for 39 Crown offices over the next few months, with around a ...
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 (125 words)

Companies involved in blacklisting will be excluded from bidding for public contracts, under new regulations laid in the Scottish Parliament last ...
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Unemployment continues to fall
 (198 words)

The number of unemployed people fell by 99,000 to 1.68 million in the three months to November, according to official figures.
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Inflation highest for a year (73 words)

At 1.2%, the annual rate of inflation in December under the Retail Prices Index was at a 12-month high. Higher travel costs were among the main ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (408 words)

Inflation +1.2%, Average earnings +2.0% ...
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Union news

Campaign against anti-union Bill converges on workplaces (370 words)

The campaign against the Trade Union Bill will converge on workplaces this month, as the TUC seeks to keep up the pressure with the Bill entering the ...
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Poll reveals public approval for wider range of balloting options
 (268 words)

The union campaign for unions to be allowed to use a wider range of balloting methods (see Labour Research, January 2016, pages 13-15) received a ...
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Devolution leads to joint working 
 (167 words)

Trade unions in Manchester have signed a protocol with the authorities in Greater Manchester to ensure they have a voice in workforce issues in the ...
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Gong rejected
 (94 words)

Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, head of political campaigns at the PCS civil service union and co-founder of UK Black Pride, has turned down an MBE in the New ...
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European news

Germany’s two largest trade unions resolve differences
 (377 words)

Germany’s two largest unions, the metal and textile union IG Metall and the services’ union Ver.di, last month agreed new arrangements for ...
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Workers obtain improvements
 (266 words)

The Portuguese government, formed by an alliance of left parties which came to power in November, has moved to reverse some of the policies of the ...
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Anger over prosecutions (247 words)

The two main Spanish union confederations, CCOO and UGT have organised a series of protest actions against the state’s prosecution of eight union ...
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Unions move forward on transgender issues
 (2,364 words)

Trans issues have a greater presence than ever on the union agenda, as Labour Research discovers.
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Sharks prepare for the kill
 (2,279 words)

Corporate interests lie at the heart of the international Trade in Services Agreement which could make the liberalisation of public services ...
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Do government claims hold up?
 (1,729 words)

The government asserts that EU migrants are coming to Britain to claim benefits. But are these claims justified? Labour Research investigates.
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Fracking: what do unions say?
 (1,695 words)

The Tories have introduced a range of measures to support fracking. But what position do unions take in relation to this highly controversial method ...
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Law Matters

Court clarifies duty to implement adjustments
 (363 words)

Although the case itself was unsuccessful, a recent disability discrimination case (Griffiths v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] ...
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Some important cases to look out for in 2016
 (267 words)

Among important cases to look out for in 2016 are:
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Right to privacy was not breached, says ruling
 (224 words)

In a worrying outcome for employees, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided in Barbulescu v Romania (61496/08) that Mr Barbulescu’s ...
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Law Queries

Overpayment of wages (286 words)

Q. An employer has made overpayments of wages due to clerical error and wants to recover the money from our members (who are current employees). Is ...
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Personal information (280 words)

Q. Some of our members are worried about whether their personal information is safe at work. Does the employer have any duty to keep personal ...
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Use of personal social media (156 words)

Q. A member’s employer wants a complete ban on use of personal social media accounts at work. Is this allowed? ...
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Law Back-up

Improvements required to consultation rights
 (815 words)

There is widespread agreement that collective redundancy consultation in insolvency situations needs change or clarification. Back-Up looks at the ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Network Rail sell-off would impair safety
 (218 words)

Privatising Network Rail could lead to declining safety standards, says a new report commissioned by the TUC and the rail unions’ Action for Rail ...
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Commission failed to act on hazard testing criteria
 (271 words)

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the European Commission breached EU law when it failed to adopt criteria for testing a group of ...
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Hungry children
 (144 words)

A survey of teachers by the EIS Scottish teaching union has uncovered a worrying increase in the number of pupils coming to school hungry and ill. ...
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Women’s health
 and safety
 (101 words)

A special report on women and health and safety in the Autumn/Winter issue of HesaMag, the journal of the European Trade Union Institute, calls for ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Do guidelines provide for fitting penalties?
 (935 words)

Back-Up looks at whether new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences, due ...
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Equality news

Women paid less than men in 90% of sectors
 (360 words)

Women working full time are paid less than men in 90% of sectors, with those working in financial and insurance sectors among the worst affected, ...
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Manifesto challenges disability discrimination
 (280 words)

With nearly half of disabled people not in work, the TUC has published a manifesto to promote equality for disabled people and challenge ...
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Employees struggle to balance work and family
 (277 words)

Just a third of UK families believe they have a healthy “work family balance” with one in 12 working parents (8%) feeling they are doing a bad ...
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Workplace Back-up

Women short-changed by rising pension age
 (921 words)

The government will have to justify State Pension Age rises for women following campaign demands for fair transitional pension arrangements for women ...
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A very capitalist condition (230 words)

A history and politics of disability ...
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Don’t mention the children
 (174 words)

Michael Rosen, Smokestack Books, 223 pages, £8.95 ...
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News from LRD

LRD Annual General Meeting - Guest speaker Roger McKenzie (UNISON) (109 words)

Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary at the UNISON public services union, will speak on union strategies in response to the Trade Union Bill ...
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