Labour Research May 2017

Making the workplace more autism-friendly - Autistic and other neuroatypical people often encounter barriers to employment and at work. What can unions do? The unions and the election in France - This month’s election for a new president in France is likely to have significant implications for French workers and their unions; International solidarity campaigning - There continue to be many campaigns involving UK unions in relation to the denial of the rights of trade unionists around the world


Millions feel the pinch as pay packets take a hammering
 (353 words)

Unions have expressed alarm at the latest official unemployment and earnings figures which show that real earnings growth has virtually come to a ...
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Teaching unions savage Tory plans for new model of grammar school
 (272 words)

A speech by education secretary Justine Greening outlining how she wants a new model of grammar schools to benefit “ordinary working-class ...
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Centenary news (249 words)

The May 1997 issue of Labour Research looked back on the legacy of 18 years of Conservative rule. This included an article assessing the impact of ...
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Conservatives’ austerity agenda is at heart of election
 (272 words)

Unions vowed to fight for working peoples’ rights in response to prime minister Theresa May’s surprise announcement of a general election. News ...
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Lax takeover laws attacked
 (260 words)

The UK’s takeover laws are so weak that big companies are considering relocating to protect themselves from predatory bids, according to Len ...
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RCN strike poll
 (113 words)

The RCN nurses’ union is assessing the appetite for strike action over pay. An online poll by the union is asking its 270,000 members whether they ...
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Postal pensions (144 words)

Postal workers’ unions have condemned Royal Mail’s decision to close its current Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme for future accrual in March 2 ...
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Unemployment continues to fall
 (209 words)

Unemployment has continued to fall, according to the latest official figures — and the unemployment rate is now at its lowest since August 1975.
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Inflation edges down (75 words)

Inflation was marginally down on the back of cheaper travel costs, offset by rising food prices and clothing and footwear. Under the Retail Prices ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (414 words)

Inflation +3.1%, Average earnings +2.9% ...
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Union news

Recruitment up, as PCS fares well despite sabotage attempts by Tories
 (388 words)

The PCS public and commercial services union has “turned a corner” following government attempts to undermine it, says general secretary Mark ...
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Study cites union growth areas (334 words)

Retail, food and beverage services, along with professional staff in head offices are the specific sectors most likely to bear fruit for union growth ...
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Charity sees struggling workers (130 words)

Public service union UNISON’s welfare charity awarded 600 members struggling to pay for heating over £30,000 in the latest year. 
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European news

Employee elections produce change in ranking for unions
 (451 words)

New figures bringing together local election results covering more than 5.6 million employees have resulted in a change in the ranking of France’s ...
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EU reaches deal with Greece
 (218 words)

The European institutions and the Greek government appear to have agreed the main elements of a deal allowing the next slice of a loan agreed in 2015 ...
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Women reps at VW
 (157 words)

There are now three women among the 10 individuals who represent employees on the supervisory board of Volkswagen, Germany’s largest car maker. 
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Alitalia deal 
 (80 words)

The future of the Alitalia Italian airline company remains uncertain as the company’s 12,500 employees vote on a preliminary deal to which the ...
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Making the workplace more autism-friendly
 (1,949 words)

As the annual TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference gets under way later this month, Labour Research looks at how unions are increasingly addressing the ...
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The French election and the unions
 (2,092 words)

How will the outcome of France’s presidential election impact on the country’s workers and their trade unions? Labour Research investigates.
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Supporting the fight for justice
 (2,223 words)

The plight of jailed trade union leaders and other trade union activists around the world who stand up for workers’ rights and against oppression ...
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Law Matters

Tory bill sweeps aside scrutiny of parliament
 (316 words)

Following the triggering at the end of March of the Article 50 procedure allowing an EU member state to quit the EU, the government provided more ...
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Union action challenges gig economy employers
 (297 words)

The past month or so has seen another raft of union challenges to exploitation of vulnerable workers through bogus self-employment in the “gig ...
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Foster carers’ rights
 (153 words)

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), is pursuing a case on behalf of foster care workers in Scotland in an attempt to establish ...
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Tribunal fees
 (91 words)

The hearing of public services union UNISON’s case against employment tribunal fees took place recently in the Supreme Court. 
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Law Queries

Tribunal statistics (327 words)

Q. How can I find out more about Employment Tribunal statistics? ...
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Apprenticeship Levy (393 words)

Q. What obligations do employers have under the new Apprenticeship Levy scheme? ...
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Law Back-up

Do employers have a right to ban religious dress?
 (927 words)

Can your employer lawfully ban religious dress in the workplace? Back-up examines two recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) cases ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Unions point up suicide as a workplace issue
 (406 words)

Unions have called for action to reduce the high number of suicides among particular groups of workers in England. The figures are revealed in a new ...
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End social dumping, says RMT
 (142 words)

The RMT transport union has called for an end to “social dumping” in the road transport sector following a BBC investigation. 
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Sacked nurse wins battle to be reinstated
 (246 words)

A nurse dismissed for frequent short-term sickness absences at a time when she was experiencing domestic violence has won her legal battle for ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Protecting workers in global supply chains
 (848 words)

As trade unionists mark International Workers’ Day on 1 May, Back-up looks at calls for action to protect the rights and health and safety of ...
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Equality news

Racial harassment remains all too real
 (302 words)

“Racial harassment still goes on in too many workplaces”, the TUC said last month as it released an interim report on the experiences of black ...
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Brexit plans lack focus on equality, says EHRC
 (315 words)

The Conservative administration’s Brexit plans show a lack of ambition for equality and human rights standards, the Equality and Human Rights ...
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Analysis of working class is ‘confused’ (256 words)

Lack of access to jobs and opportunities binds black and minority ethnic (BME) and poor white people together, according to a new publication from ...
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Workplace Back-up

Parental leave scheme falls short of needs
 (957 words)

The concept of shared parental leave has a lot of support. But two years’ on from the implementation of a shared parental leave scheme in the UK, ...
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I, Daniel Blake (DVD) (229 words)

Dir Ken Loach, £12.99 ...
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Sound system
 (194 words)

The political power of music
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e-views (419 words)

Back in 2014, the Prospect professionals’ union launched a website,, which provides information and guidance on careers and ...
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News from LRD

LRD AGM will focus on the gig economy (192 words)

The campaign for workers’ rights in the gig economy will be the main topic at the LRD annual general meeting on 15 May. Last year, the GMB general ...
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