Labour Research May 2016

Disability on the agendaLabour Research asks unions about the concerns of their disabled members and examines what the unions are doing to increase disabled workers’ participation in union life; Not-so-universal suffrage - Millions will not have a say in this month’s elections as a result of changes to electoral registration; Refugees’ plight - The flight to Europe by refugees has seen thousands losing their lives. Is the latest deal struck between the EU and Turkey likely to put an end to this tragedy?


Unions call on government to guarantee steel operations
 (409 words)

The Tata company’s decision to dispose of its entire UK steel shareholding last month triggered a frenzy of activity by the trade unions and ...
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Use tax-raising powers, says STUC
 (246 words)

Whoever wins the Scottish elections on 5 May, the new government can expect lobbying by the trade unions to use its tax-raising powers to tackle ...
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Industrial news (267 words)

As Labour Research went to press, the British Medical Association (BMA) had escalated its dispute with the government over the imposition of a new ...
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Academisation could lead to industrial action in schools
 (256 words)

The government’s policy of forcing all schools in England to become academies by 2020 and removing them from local authority control could drive ...
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Climbdown over check-off
 (295 words)

The government has backed down from plans to outlaw the system of employers collecting union dues (known as check-off) that was due affect more than 2 ...
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Pension plan axed
 (130 words)

A controversial plan by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey to offer cash to nurses who opt out of the NHS pension scheme has been dropped, after ...
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National Living Wage
 (139 words)

Chancellor George Osborne’s so-called National Living Wage (NLW) came into force from 1 April, making it a legal requirement for employers to pay ...
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Numbers of unemployed edge up
 (205 words)

In a reversal for the government, the two main measures of unemployment showed rises in the official figures. Under the Labour Force Survey count, ...
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Inflation rises (76 words)

The two main inflation measures were higher in March, Office for National Statistics figures show.
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +1.6%, Average earnings +1.1% ...
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Union news

Teaching ‘superunion’ a step closer as delegates endorse formal negotiations
 (555 words)

Proposals to form a teaching union of almost 500,000 members could be put to a ballot of two of the largest unions in the sector next year following ...
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UNISON gives thumbs up to remaining in EU
 (355 words)

Public services union UNISON is campaigning for the UK to stay part of the European Union following extensive consultation among its branches. 
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European news

Unions receive new recruitment rights, together with less welcome measures
 (522 words)

The Polish government has proposed a new trade union law which has both pluses and minuses for the country’s trade union movement.
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Working time attack creates united protest
 (377 words)

Belgium’s three main union confederations have united in protest against government plans to increase working time flexibility and make it easier ...
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Addressing the needs of disabled members
 (2,412 words)

What are the top concerns of disabled trade union members? And how are unions ensuring disabled members’ participation in union life? Labour ...
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Millions are now polls apart
 (2,135 words)

Many will not be voting this month, thanks to changes that are likely to have seen their disappearance from the electoral register.
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This is a crisis for refugees
 (1,724 words)

There is much media talk of a “refugee crisis” creating problems for the European Union. But it is the refugees who face crisis conditions.
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Law Matters

Discrimination did not occur against manager
 (289 words)

The STUC has asked Members of the Scottish Parliament to make a pledge against any provisions of the Trade Union Bill which conflict with human ...
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STUC points to human rights concerns in bill
 (328 words)

In a recent decision on religion and belief discrimination by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), the EAT confirmed that an NHS manager was not ...
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Illegal homecare wages exposed (230 words)

The UNISON public services union has produced a report exposing the extent to which councils in England and Wales don’t ensure that homecare ...
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Law Queries

Time off for antenatal care (245 words)

Q. Can an employer refuse to allow a pregnant member time off for antenatal care? ...
Open access

Protection from blacklisting (481 words)

Q. Is there legislation protecting union members against blacklisting? ...
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Law Back-up

Enforcement is needed to protect disability rights
 (864 words)

This month, Back-Up looks at a recent House of Lords Select Committee report, The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people. 
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Health & Safety Matters

Qatar warned to end use of forced labour
 (242 words)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has issued an ultimatum to Qatar regarding its treatment of migrant workers building for the 2022 FIFA ...
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Firefighters’ union points to toll of ‘reckless’ cuts
 (261 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has pointed the finger at “reckless” government cuts to public services after an elderly couple died in a ...
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Rail campaign
 (148 words)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged full support for the rail unions’ campaign to defend jobs, services and safety, and for a publicly-owned ...
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Union scoops award 
 (115 words)

The Usdaw retail union’s Freedom from Fear campaign, which aims to improve the personal safety of workers, has been recognised by the Suzy Lamplugh ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Unions call for action on threat from lasers
 (852 words)

Transport unions have renewed their call for the government to classify lasers as offensive weapons following recent attacks on passenger planes. ...
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Equality news

Muslim women face labour market trials
 (325 words)

Muslim women entering the labour market face a “multitude of challenges” on the basis of their gender, race, culture and religion, according to ...
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Better rights to leave and pay still needed
 (407 words)

The first anniversary last month of the right to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) saw the publication of conflicting figures about the level of take-up by ...
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Maternity bias forces mothers out (230 words)

Although pregnancy and maternity discrimination is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010, a recent survey found that a shocking 11% of mothers said ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Workers’ rights at risk from Brexit, says TUC
 (921 words)

Key rights and protections currently afforded UK workers are at risk in the event of a “Brexit”, according to a report commissioned by the TUC. ...
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The truth about our schools
 (273 words)

Exposing the myths, exploring the evidence
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The rent trap (212 words)

How we fell into it and how we get out of it ...
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e-views (397 words)

If you want to attract more visitors to your website, one effective approach is “link baiting”. This is where a website features content that is ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (99 words)

The Labour Research Department (LRD) annual general meeting will take place on Monday 16 May from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London SE1 ...
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