Labour Research December 2016

Post-Brexit racism - the aftermath of the EU referendum has seen some unpleasant incidents against BME and migrant workers; Executive pay - the fat cats are still skimming the cream, as the annual Labour Research executive pay survey reveals; Modern slavery - the government's Modern Slavery Act doesn't do enough to support victims, critics say; Books for Christmas - staff at the Bookmarks socialist bookshop suggest books you may like to give as festive gifts


Government's prison reform plans offer 'mixed picture'
 (343 words)

The crisis in the prison service reached unprecedented levels last month when the government was forced to seek a High Court injunction to get staff, ...
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One in ten shopworkers assaulted
 (312 words)

One in 10 shopworkers has been assaulted and nearly a third don’t report it, reveals a survey by shopworkers’ union Usdaw.
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Industrial news (280 words)

Members of the UNISON public services union and the ATL teaching union employed as teaching assistants in Durham took two days’ strike action at ...
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Schools face massive budget crisis, warn teaching unions
 (290 words)

Schools are facing the biggest real terms budget cuts in a generation, with cuts predicted to reach up to £2.5 billion a year by 2020. 
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Impact of Brexit highlights cuts (244 words)

The scale of the cuts endured by the civil service is in the spotlight as a leaked memo suggests tens of thousands more jobs are needed in the wake ...
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Investment slowdown
 (125 words)

Construction union UCATT says the uncertainty created by government inaction and the disappointment in the industry at the Brexit vote is causing a ...
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CWU sends aid consignment to Syria
 (114 words)

As Labour Research went to press, the charity run by the CWU communications workers' union was getting ready to send a huge consignment of aid to ...
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No change in rate of inflation (62 words)

Inflation under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — the measure favoured by union negotiators — was unchanged at 2.0% in October. 
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Unemployment at 11-year low
 (261 words)

The UK unemployment rate has reached an 11-year low.
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (407 words)

Inflation +2.0%; Average earnings +2.5% ...
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Union news

Teaching 'superunion' takes step closer to being realised (455 words)

Activists in two of the largest teaching unions — the NUT and the ATL — have agreed to take the next step towards merger.
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UCATT members vote to merge with Unite (38 words)

Members of the UCATT construction union have voted by 85.5% in favour of transferring their engagements to the Unite general union from 1 January 2017 ...
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Scottish government announces fund for union modernisation
 (170 words)

Scottish trade unionists have welcomed a new £250,000 Scottish government fund to help unions modernise and to mitigate the negative impact of the ...
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Review on electronic balloting welcomed (214 words)

The government’s commissioning of an independent review of the use of electronic voting in industrial action ballots has been welcomed by the ...
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European news

Court case leads to delayed elections for employee reps
 (382 words)

A legal dispute over the right of a small Corsican union, the STC, to take part in elections for employee representatives in France has led the ...
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Thumbs down to digitalisation
 (273 words)

The latest union survey of working life in Germany suggests a slight improvement overall. But it also finds that digitalisation has produced a range ...
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Parliament accepts retirement age cut (248 words)

The Polish parliament has accepted a proposal from the government of the nationalist PiS party to reduce the retirement age to 60 for women and 65 ...
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Unions take action on post-Brexit xenophobia
 (2,039 words)

Reports of a rise in xenophobia in the workplace have seen unions stepping up their response to the problem.
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Fat cat pay continues to rise
 (2,211 words)

Top executives' remuneration packages have continued to ratchet up, albeit at a slower rate. Prime minster Theresa May has promised to address ...
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More needed to tackle slavery
 (1,740 words)

Legislation brought in by the government to clamp down on modern slavery doesn’t go far enough, say critics. Labour Research reports.
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Books to give at Christmas
 (1,057 words)

Staff at the Bookmarks socialist bookshop provide their annual pick of books you might like to give to your labour movement friends at Christmas ...
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Law Matters

Landmark ruling boosts status of uber drivers
 (320 words)

In an historic victory for vulnerable workers in the “gig economy”, and a testament to the power of union representation, an employment tribunal ...
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Parliamentary approval is necessary for article 50
 (280 words)

In a highly significant constitutional law decision, the High Court has decided that the UK’s constitution does not allow the government to trigger ...
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Asda equal 
pay claims
 (155 words)

In an important development in the multiple equal pay claims against Asda (Brierley and others v Asda Stores Ltd), an Employment Tribunal has ...
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Inquiry into future of work
 (92 words)

Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEISC) has begun an inquiry into the future world of work and the rights of ...
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Law Queries

 (186 words)

Q. What can employees claim from the National Insurance Fund if their employer goes into liquidation?
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Gender pay reporting
 (298 words)

Q. What is gender pay reporting? ...
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Tribunal awards
 (213 words)

Q. Are Employment Tribunal awards subject to any kind of limit? ...
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Law Back-up

What legal protections do breastfeeding mums have?
 (920 words)

In the wake of a ground-breaking Employment Tribunal case, this month’s Back-Up, looks at the legal rights of breastfeeding mothers at work. ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Prison officers warn of system ‘on the edge’
 (371 words)

The POA prison officers’ union was forced to call off protests over what it describes as “the volatile and dangerous state of prisons” which ...
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More action on rail safety
 (215 words)

Rail unions have stepped up their action to defend safety on trains and the London Underground (LU). 
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Combating violence
 (95 words)

Lecturers’ union the UCU has welcomed a new report calling for universities to do more to combat violence and harassment on campus. 
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Trade deal
 (154 words)

Following the temporary blocking in October of the Canada-European Union CETA trade agreement as a result of opposition led by the Belgian Wallonia ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Keeping work safe for disabled employees
 (881 words)

To mark International Day of Disabled People on 3 December, Back-Up looks at union activity on disability and health and safety, and on promoting ...
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Equality news

Tribunal charges see case numbers plummet 
 (260 words)

The number of working people challenging discrimination or unfair treatment at work has plummeted by 9,000 a month since charges of up to £1,200 to ...
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Study reveals costs of pregnancy discrimination
 (389 words)

The total cost to women of being forced to leave a job due to pregnancy or maternity has been estimated to be between £46.6 million and £113 ...
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Brexit and equality
 (115 words)

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry to consider the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on equalities ...
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Gender pay gap
 (131 words)

The gender pay gap in the UK will not close until 2069 unless action is taken to tackle it now, according to new research by business consultants ...
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Workplace Back-up

Government announces disability proposals
 (946 words)

A government consultation on reforms to get more disabled people into work was released at the end of October. Back-Up examines the proposals.
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Walls come 
tumbling down (337 words)

The music and politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge
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e-views (445 words)

I’ve been working on a website for a new initiative designed to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in the investment and savings industry. ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (118 words)

The 2017 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) is on Monday 15 May, 2017 from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London ...
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