Labour Research June 2017

One year after the referendum vote - It’s a year after the historic referendum that saw a vote to leave the EU. So how are unions meeting the Brexit challenge? Examining the record of the Tory government - Ahead of this month’s election, Labour Research looks at how unions and others have been hit by the Tory government. Scotland’s Union Modernisation Fund - Scotland’s unions are undertaking projects to strengthen union organisation with funds from the Holyrood administration


Tory proposals on new rights for workers greeted with derision
 (388 words)

Unions have poured scorn on Conservative Party election pledges to improve workers’ rights. “Over the past seven years the Tories have ...
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Warning issued over wage slump
 (310 words)

The last thing Britain needs is another wage slump, said the TUC in response to figures released by the Office for National Statistics showing ...
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Centenary news (259 words)

The June 1926 edition of Labour Research published a diary of the historic General Strike (extracts below), which took place the month before. The ...
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Nurses’ union may see historic vote on industrial action over pay cap
 (354 words)

Members of the RCN nurses’ union will vote on taking strike action for the first time in their union’s 100-year history if the 1% pay cap ...
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Decent deal with Europe needed
 (195 words)

The TUC has called on the next government to get a deal with Europe that protects current workers’ rights in the wake of a new study warning that ...
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Organising challenge of gig economy (242 words)

The fight against bogus self-employment at companies like Uber isn’t just a matter of going to law, there’s a real organising challenge behind it. ...
Open access

Unemployment continues to fall
 (219 words)

Unemployment under the Labour Force Survey count continues to be at its lowest level since the mid-1970s. It fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the ...
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Inflation hike (76 words)

Inflation is at a five-year high. Under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — the measure favoured by union negotiators — the annual inflation rate was ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (415 words)

Inflation +3.5%, Average earnings +2.4% ...
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Union news

Unions give green light to Labour’s workplace plans
 (357 words)

Unions have a given a resounding thumbs-up to the Labour Party’s 20-point plan to transform the workplace, which ranges from ending the public ...
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Focus must be on public services
 (175 words)

Unions with members in the public services are asking those members to try to keep public services at the top of the political agenda during the ...
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Hotels accused of anti-union activity
 (140 words)

Workers at two major hotel chains held separate protests last month because of alleged hostility towards their union, Unite. 
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Unite general secretary election
 (94 words)

The low turnout in the Unite union’s general secretary election “can give no cause for satisfaction,” the union said. 
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European news

Commission announces new family-friendly proposals
 (434 words)

The European Commission has announced new proposals for paid paternity and extended parental leave as part of its new initiative on employment ...
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Revised code is more favourable
 (259 words)

New revisions to the Lithuanian labour code, which are due to come into force on 1 July, are much more positive for trade unions than the previous ...
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Macron warned on labour law
 (140 words)

Laurent Berger, general secretary of the CFDT, the French union confederation with the largest degree of support in the private sector, has warned ...
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Board-level representation
 (92 words)

The German system of electing employee representatives onto company supervisory boards, is in line with European law and will therefore not have to ...
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Brexit vote: one year on
 (2,592 words)

A year ago this month, the UK voted to leave the EU. So how are unions shaping up to that decision? And how do they view the Brexit process so ...
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Hammering the unions, the workers and the poor
 (2,580 words)

Ahead of this month’s general election, Labour Research looks at the damage the Tories have inflicted on unions, and on both working and ...
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Scotland’s unions get a boost
 (1,781 words)

Unions in Scotland are benefiting from funds provided by the Holyrood government to set up projects that aim to support union members and improve ...
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Law Matters

Ruling on recognition is ‘a massive victory’
 (310 words)

The GMB general union’s legal battle against the Lidl low-cost supermarket chain over the right to union representation has culminated in “a ...
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Candidate with Asperger's faced discriminatory test
 (286 words)

An important ruling for those representing disabled members with neurodiverse conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome and autism has been given by ...
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Gig economy cases
 (251 words)

The Unite general union’s new Strategic Case Unit has launched an Employment Appeal Tribunal case, one of several union-backed cases in the ...
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Law Queries

Ante-natal appointments
 (264 words)

Q. One of our members wants to know if he is entitled to paid time off to accompany his pregnant partner to an ante-natal appointment. He is the ...
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Constructive dismissal
 (221 words)

Q. Is a constructive dismissal always an unfair dismissal?
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Redundancy and job-seeking
 (278 words)

Q. One of our members is working out his notice, having been made redundant. He wants to spend time looking for a new job. Does he have a right to do ...
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Law Back-up

Trade Union Act attacks time off for union duties
 (943 words)

There is a little-publicised, yet highly destructive aspect to the Tories’ pernicious Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA) — the attack on trade union ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Women still failed by protective equipment
 (379 words)

Ill-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) that is not designed to protect women is getting in the way of them doing the job safely, according ...
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Unions highlight rail safety (159 words)

Rail union RMT held a national protest outside Parliament to mark the one-year anniversary of the union’s industrial action against the extension ...
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Safety initiatives receive awards
 (218 words)

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at Newsquest Herald and Times have won the 2017 Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) Frank Maguire Award for ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

What’s at stake for health and safety?
 (907 words)

As trade unionists prepare to go to the polls on 8 June, Back-up looks at what might happen to workers’ health and safety protection under another ...
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Equality news

Older workers hit by working hours cuts
 (369 words)

Older workers have been hit by cuts to working hours, according to a report by charity Age UK.
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Too little progress made on disability equality
 (258 words)

Progress towards real equality for disabled people over the past 20 years is insufficient and “littered with missed opportunities and ...
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Young people lose out, says charity (265 words)

More than two in five young people worry that they could be turned down for a job because of their perceived social class, according to research from ...
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Workplace Back-up

Cap does not fit for public sector workers
 (937 words)

The government’s continued insistence on a 1% pay cap has dealt a bitter blow to employees in the public sector, as Back-up reports.
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Working the phones
 (233 words)

Control and resistance in call centres
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Testosterone rex
 (182 words)

Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds ...
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e-views (437 words)

If 10 years ago you were asked what the next major trend in website design would be, not many people would have mentioned “responsive design”. ...
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