Labour Research April 2018

Unions respond to rising Islamophobia - unions are working with anti-racist and community organisations to campaign against Islamophobia and other forms of racism; The pros and cons of a universal basic income - there has been growing interest in the idea of a universal basic income, though it is far from supported by everyone; Data protection law: what does it mean for unions? - tough new data protection legislation will be in force from next month. Labour Research examines the impact on trade unions


Industrial news (273 words)

The Unite general union has accused Sainsbury’s of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. The supermarket giant has proposed to increase pay to £9.20 an ...
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Bosses undercut wages by using ‘long-term’ agency workers
 (376 words)

Bosses are undercutting wages by keeping people on agency contracts for years, warns a new report by the TUC. Ending the undercutters’ charter ...
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Defend UK steelworkers, say unions
 (304 words)

Unions have demanded government action to defend UK steelworkers against the threat of US steel tariffs. 
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Universities’ strike continues after staff reject revised pensions deal
 (274 words)

Strikes at UK universities will continue after members of the UCU university and college staffs’ union rejected a revised deal on their ...
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Employers hiring fewer workers
 (266 words)

Employers are hiring fewer workers because of economic uncertainty, research by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) trade ...
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‘Hard’ Brexit risks jobs (248 words)

A “hard” Brexit would be devastating for the car industry, a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee’s report on the ...
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RPI inflation rate drops to 3.6%
 (224 words)

Cheaper petrol and a slower rise in food prices helped cut the rate of inflation in February.
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Joblessness rises again (64 words)

For the second month in a row, unemployment has posted a rise. 
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (415 words)

Inflation +3.6%, Average earnings +2.8% ...
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Union news

Couriers win right to collective bargaining with gig economy firm
 (278 words)

A dent has been made in the armour of the “gig economy” after a union won statutory recognition on behalf of over 100 couriers who had been ...
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Derecognition ballot set to go ahead
 (403 words)

The independent Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA), which has been battling for seven years to achieve collective bargaining rights at pharmacy ...
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Co-op union to merge with Usdaw
 (127 words)

Members of the NACO co-operative union, which largely represents managers at the Co-operative Group, have voted to merge with the 430,000-strong ...
Open access

Mobile advice service
 (115 words)

A mobile face-to-face advice service for workers in care homes, GP surgeries and the community has been launched by public services union UNISON. 
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European news

Commission presents new proposals on social rights (454 words)

The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the European Union, has formally presented two new proposals intended to strengthen worker ...
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Training plan angers French unions (182 words)

France’s two largest union confederations, the CFDT and the CGT, have criticised government plans to restructure the training system.
Open access

Women’s Day
 (73 words)

Around six million workers took part in two-hour strikes, and hundreds of thousands marched through the streets in 120 towns and cities across Spain ...
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Strike looms in Denmark
 (103 words)

Unions and employers in Denmark’s public sector appear set for confrontation over a pay increase for the next three years. 
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Works councils
 (56 words)

Works councils, directly-elected representatives of employees at workplace level, are currently being chosen in 28,000 workplaces in Germany. ...
Open access


Tackling rising Islamophobia
 (2,308 words)

Letters encouraging people to take part in “punish a Muslim day”, sent to addresses across England, and suspicious packages sent to Muslim MPs ...
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Should we have a basic income?
 (2,323 words)

Is universal basic income an idea whose time has come? Or a dangerous distraction that presents a threat to the welfare state and public services? ...
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Preparing for the new data law
 (2,169 words)

Wide-ranging changes to data protection legislation take effect on 25 May — with major implications for many organisations, including trade unions, ...
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Law Matters

Ruling brings good news for part-time teachers
 (340 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently made a decision on holiday pay with particular significance for part-time teachers. 
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Union chalks up win against bogus self-employment
 (256 words)

The Unite union has secured another major victory in the fight against bogus self-employment and the use of umbrella companies. 
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Award increases and other changes
 (146 words)

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 comes into force on 8 April 2018, introducing annual increases to limits on Employment Tribunal ...
Open access

Transgender case
 (89 words)

In a significant decision relating to the rights of transgender employees, an Employment Tribunal has found that a trans employee was subjected to ...
Open access

Law Queries

Protected disclosures
 (236 words)

Q. A member is pursuing a grievance at work, based on not getting on very well with their manager. Could this be a protected disclosure under ...
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Pregnancy rights 
 (300 words)

Q. One of our agency worker members is pregnant. Does she have any pregnancy-related employment rights? ...
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What is a COT3? (176 words)

Q. I have been assisting a member with some early conciliation discussions with the Acas conciliation service and her employer. The Acas ...
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Law Back-up

Data protection: what new rights do we have at work?
 (889 words)

This month, Back-up complements our feature on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on pages 16-18 with a look at the impact the GDPR ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Being attacked is now 'normal part of job'
 (220 words)

The UNISON public services union is to investigate why violence is increasing, after its members working in the community reported that for some ...
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Unions slam long hours and excessive unpaid overtime
 (266 words)

The TUC called on workers to take a proper lunch break and go home on time on its 14th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day on 23 February. 
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Essential role 
of guards
 (126 words)

The RMT rail union highlighted the essential role of safety-critical guards as snow, ice and gales caused chaos on the railways last month. 
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Cleaning spray danger
 (108 words)

Regularly using cleaning sprays for 20 years has the same effect on lung function as smoking 20 cigarettes a day over the same period, according to ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Are employers held to account over deaths?
 (916 words)

It’s 10 years since the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCHA) came into force on 6 April 2008. Back-up looks at its impact. ...
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Equality news

Pay and benefit cuts fuel child poverty
 (362 words)

Since 2010, the South West has seen over 15,000 more children living in the families of public sector workers fall into poverty — the biggest ...
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Silver lining for the UK?
 (327 words)

Ensuring older workers are able to stay in good-quality employment is essential to the future of the UK economy and will relieve pressure on public ...
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Sexual harassment inquiry (223 words)

In February, the Commons Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) launched an inquiry into workplace sexual harassment. The inquiry will complement the ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Families on low incomes mugged by benefit cuts
 (929 words)

State benefit cuts saving the government around £2.5 billion come into effect this month. New research confirms that it is low-income working ...
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e-views (438 words)

Data protection laws will undergo a major upgrade when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) supersedes the 1998 Data Protection Act next ...
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News from LRD

LRD AGM - keynote speaker Kate Bell (141 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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