Labour Research August 2016

Retail sector - Developments in the retail sector, such as online shopping, present unions with a number of challenges around organising. How are they facing them?; Driving casualisation? - The Uber driver hire service is part of a growing so-called “sharing economy” that is undermining traditional employment relationships and promoting casualisation; Corporate crime - Corporate crime is everywhere. Yet the chances of any guilty company directors or senior managers facing a jail sentence are virtually nil


Action plan sets out proposals for post-referendum economy
 (322 words)

The TUC has called on the government to take decisive action to ensure that workers do not pay the price for the decision to leave the EU.
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Unions castigate government over ‘point-scoring’ debate on Trident
 (302 words)

The House of Commons decision last month to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system was supported by defence unions Unite and the GMB. But ...
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Civil service cuts
 (132 words)

The PCS civil service union has written to the civil service head, Jeremy Heywood, to say all plans for cuts and office closures should be halted in ...
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Southern rail crisis
 (122 words)

Despite the implementation of an “emergency timetable”, involving the cancellation of nearly 350 trains, calls have intensified to strip Govia ...
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Warning issued over ‘colossal’ scale of funding challenge in the NHS
 (314 words)

The government must solve the NHS cash crisis, the UNISON public services union warned last month after the publication of a Health Select Committee ...
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Equality watchdog cuts criticised
 (209 words)

The PCS civil service union and general union Unite have joined forces to urge the government to reverse cuts of 25% to the Equality and Human Rights ...
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Fawley strike 
 (117 words)

Workers at the Fawley oil refinery went on strike last month in protest at foreign workers being exploited and paid half that of UK workers at the ...
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Brexit and universities
 (129 words)

The UCU lecturers’ union has called for safeguards to ensure a positive future for further and higher education following the vote to leave the EU. ...
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UK unemployment rate is down
 (206 words)

Jobless numbers were down but claimant numbers were up, the latest official figures show. 
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Flights and fuel push prices up (70 words)

Higher air fares and dearer fuel saw inflation pushed up in June. 
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Key economic indicators

Flights and fuel push prices up (396 words)

Inflation +1.6%, Average Earnings +2.1% ...
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Union news

TUC membership declines
 (333 words)

Total TUC membership fell by 2.8% last year and now totals 5.65 million. However, almost a third of the decline was down to one particular affiliate ...
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Unions demand role on behalf of workers in Brexit negotiations
 (294 words)

Unions are demanding a role in negotiations over Brexit. 
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NUT leader
 (173 words)

Kevin Courtney has been elected general secretary of the UK’s largest teaching union — the 334,000-strong National Union of Teachers (NUT). He ...
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Labour Party
 (66 words)

People who have affiliated as Labour Party supporters via their union will only have a vote in the Labour leadership election if they have been ...
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European news

Brexit: European union leaders discuss the future
 (464 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called for more rapid progress towards a fairer and more equal Europe as a response to the British ...
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Appeal for more worker directors
 (193 words)

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economics minister and head of the SPD social democratic party, the junior party in the government coalition, has called ...
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French labour code at final stages
 (134 words)

The controversial changes to the French labour code look likely to be finally adopted, despite opposition from two of France’s five main union ...
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Lithuanian labour code vetoed
 (122 words)

Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite has vetoed the proposed new labour code which was adopted by the parliament in May. 
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Retail sector: what’s in store?
 (2,375 words)

Online shopping is creating a major challenge for unions organising in a retail sector that continues to see store closures and thousands of job ...
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Are workers getting a fair share of this gig?
 (2,648 words)

The “sharing” or “gig” economy is producing a realignment of employment relationships, as Labour Research finds out.
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Smooth criminals go unpunished
 (2,272 words)

Corporate crime is all around us, yet it is often hidden from legal scrutiny with the perpetrators almost always escaping prosecution. Labour ...
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Law Matters

Ruling finds in favour of trafficked victims
 (309 words)

The High Court has given its first ever ruling against a British company in relation to trafficked victims. 
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The meaning of article 50
 (348 words)

Since the referendum, much debate has arisen around the legality of invoking Article 50. Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon sets out the process for ...
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ET tribunal judgments available online from autumn (249 words)

In a recent announcement, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) confirmed that from autumn 2016, all new Employment Tribunal (ET) ...
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Law Queries

Racial comments and actions
 (504 words)

Q. What can we do to help Eastern European members who, since the EU referendum, are being subjected to negative comments and actions at work? ...
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EU nationals in the UK (241 words)

Q. Can our members from other EU countries currently living and working in the UK continue to do so? ...
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Law Back-up

What impact might Brexit have on employment law?
 (901 words)

The result of last month’s EU referendum has created an enormous amount of uncertainty in a number of areas of life in the UK, including rights at ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Protective equipment ill-suited to women
 (297 words)

Less than one in three women — just 29% — say that the personal protective equipment (PPE) they wear at work is designed for them, according to ...
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Brexit ‘puts at risk’ rights guaranteed by EU laws
 (187 words)

As a result of the Brexit vote in last month’s EU referendum, TUC head of health and safety Hugh Robertson has warned: “There is a real and ...
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Rail union exposes dangers (259 words)

The TUC has backed the strike action taken by rail union RMT members in opposition to Southern Rail’s plans to increase the number of trains ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

How safety reps can tackle fatigue at work
 (891 words)

This month, London’s Night Tube service is due to begin. The introduction of the service follows a long-running dispute caused, at least in part, ...
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Equality news

Disability employment gap remains a problem
 (432 words)

The TUC says that the government is “years behind schedule” in delivering its manifesto commitment to halve the employment gap between disabled ...
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Campaign launched for quality flexible jobs
 (236 words)

A campaign has been launched to help workers wanting to work flexibly, following research that found that nearly 80% of such workers feel the jobs ...
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Social mobility
 (107 words)

The Cabinet Office has released a full list of potential national common measures to identify and boost social mobility in workplaces across the ...
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Social attitudes survey
 (133 words)

The 33rd annual British Social Attitudes report has found that while more people have good quality jobs, job security remains elusive for some.
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Workplace Back-up

Equality legislation: what does Brexit hold?
 (789 words)

Workplace Back-up looks at the potential impact of Brexit on UK equality law. 
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The racket (258 words)

A rogue reporter vs the American elite ...
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Hillsborough voices
 (215 words)

The real story told by the people themselves ...
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e-views (410 words)

The TUC has made its annual awards for the best use of communications among unions. I’m always interested in the digital categories to see how ...
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