Labour Research February 2018

Environmental trade unionism - despite the pressures of austerity and cuts, unions continue to maintain a focus on environmental protection and green issues; Fighting bogus self-employment - A series of high-profile legal cases has seen UK unions defending the rights of members who work in the gig economy; Unions warn of Trade Bill threat - Critics of the government’s Trade Bill say the Bill could threaten jobs, workers’ rights and environmental and consumer standards


Prime minister reprimanded over chronic NHS underfunding
 (334 words)

Patients are “dying prematurely” in the corridors of A&E units, the heads of 68 emergency departments across England and Wales warned prime ...
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End migrant exploitation, says TUC
 (338 words)

The government must stop bosses exploiting migrant labour, the TUC warned in the wake of a report by the Home Affairs Select Committee last month.
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Industrial news (249 words)

The Unite general union is holding a consultative ballot of members in local government with a recommendation to reject the two-year pay deal being ...
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Unions call for action to safeguard jobs following collapse of Carillion
 (283 words)

Unions have called for urgent action by the government to safeguard jobs following the collapse of construction and outsourced services company ...
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Renewed demands over Southern
 (268 words)

The RMT transport union has renewed calls for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to be stripped of the Southern rail franchise, after a National Audit ...
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Cats still fat as pay gap widens (294 words)

By 4 January last month, the UK’s highest-paid bosses had already pocketed more than the £28,758 the average full-time worker will make in the ...
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Factory output at 10-year high
 (219 words)

Factory output was at its highest level for 10 years as 2017 came near to a close, official figures show. In the three months to November, ...
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RPI inflation posts increase (60 words)

Dearer air fares and housing costs pushed inflation to a six-year high at the end of last year. 
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +4.1%, Average earnings +2.3% ...
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Union news

Union calls for recognition of aircraft engineers at Ryanair 
 (215 words)

Specialists’ union Prospect has called on Ryanair to recognise it for representation of licensed aircraft engineers, following the budget ...
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Government slammed on e-balloting
 (176 words)

The TUC has accused the government of “dragging its feet” over allowing electronic voting in industrial action ballots. 
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Check-off means financial blow
 (204 words)

Public services union UNISON has warned that forthcoming changes to the law on how union members can pay their contributions will have “a huge ...
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Community expands
 (37 words)

The union for staff in the West Bromwich Building Society — a TUC affiliate — has transferred its engagements to Community. It will add just shy ...
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FBU anniversary
 (82 words)

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has begun a year of events marking the 100th anniversary of its foundation in 1918. 
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EIS political fund
 (41 words)

Members of the EIS Scottish teaching union voted overwhelmingly to retain their political fund late last year. The statutory 10-year ballot resulted ...
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Green pension push
 (81 words)

Public services union UNISON has launched a campaign to encourage local government pension funds to make greener investment decisions. Five million ...
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European news

Ryanair talks continue, but substantial issues remain
 (368 words)

Discussions on recognition between Ryanair, the low-cost airline, and unions across Europe have been going on since just before Christmas. But there ...
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‘Right to strike’ case commences
 (309 words)

The German constitutional court has started hearing a case to decide whether the country’s civil servants have a right to strike. Although the ...
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Strike law voted through
 (116 words)

The Greek parliament has approved a massive new Bill introducing a series of changes required under the country’s financial bailout. 
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Car plant redundancies 
 (69 words)

A majority of the unions represented at the car company PSA, which took over Opel and Vauxhall last year, have agreed to 1,300 voluntary redundancies ...
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Pay gap discussions
 (58 words)

The ICTU Irish trade union confederation and IBEC Irish employers’ association, have started discussions on the best method for presenting ...
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Working for a green economy
 (2,338 words)

Environmental improvements for workers continue to occupy unions, who are also considering how to protect jobs within a greener economy.
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Cracking down on gig economy exploitation
 (2,586 words)

The exploitation of workers in the gig economy continues to attract political attention and calls for reform of the law, as Labour Research reports. ...
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Alarm over Tories’ Trade Bill
 (2,304 words)

Unions and campaigners are warning that the Trade Bill, currently going through Parliament, could undermine democracy — and threaten jobs, public ...
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Law Matters

Favourable outcome in working time judgment
 (327 words)

A recent working time case has seen a supportive judgment for workers delivered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). 
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Critics rebuke government over stance on EU charter
 (278 words)

The government continues to be taken to task over its refusal to commit to transferring the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law under the ...
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Abolition of fees sees increase in claims (247 words)

There has been a significant increase in employment tribunal (ET) claims since the fees system was abolished, the latest statistics on ET claims from ...
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Law Queries

Surveillance at work
 (296 words)

Q. Is it lawful for an employer to install cameras at work?
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Disclosure checks (196 words)

Q. A member has been asked to make a basic disclosure check with the Disclosure and Barring Service for the purposes of a new job. What’s the best ...
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Reasonable adjustments (193 words)

Q. Can you give examples of what sort of adjustments might be considered “reasonable adjustments” for a disabled worker? ...
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Law Back-up

Can pay gap regulations be enforced effectively?
 (928 words)

At the end of 2017, the EHRC equality watchdog published its proposals for enforcement of the gender pay gap regulations and launched a consultation ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Building regulations not fit for purpose
 (306 words)

The current system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise buildings is not fit for purpose, according to the interim findings of the report, ...
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Plans fall short, say unions (222 words)

Reforms put forward by a parliamentary working group to address bullying and harassment at Westminster “are nowhere near sufficient” to establish ...
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Working time rights under threat (255 words)

The TUC is urging people to sign a petition in the wake of reports that a group of senior government ministers plans to scrap the Working Time ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Protecting workers in cold winter weather
 (904 words)

The cold snap at the end of last year, with snow, ice and night-time temperatures as low as -13­0C, prompted unions to issue guidance on winter ...
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Equality news

Demands of work mean stress for parents
 (347 words)

UK parents are buckling under the strain of overwork as the modern workplace pushes them to breaking point, says new research.
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BBC unequal pay decried
 (335 words)

Unions have expressed solidarity with BBC journalist Carrie Gracie who resigned as the broadcaster’s China editor last month. Gracie said she could ...
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Pay gap ‘still a matter of concern’ (275 words)

The government may well have brought in new rules stating that firms with more than 250 employees must publish gender pay gap information from this ...
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Workplace Back-up

Criticism levelled at apprenticeship levy
 (830 words)

More than half of employers are calling for the apprenticeship levy to be replaced, less than a year after it was introduced. Back-up reports.
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e-views (472 words)

When websites are redesigned or restructured, one mistake I come across a surprising amount of the time is a failure to use redirects properly. 
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News from LRD

TUC's Kate Bell will be keynote speaker at LRD AGM (186 words)

As the date for the UK to leave the European Union draws nearer, we face a complex range of social and economic problems. 
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