Labour Research January 2020

Uncovering the truth about the undercover cops - For decades the police spied on thousands of citizens including trade unionists, who continue to demand the truth about the spycops scandal; What’s behind the wave of global protest? - As a new year gets under way, Labour Research reflects on the fact that 2019 saw rebellion take place around the globe; Education and the climate emergency - The involvement of young people in climate change protest has produced action around the issue by the education community


Rail union publishes plan to end strikes on South Western
 (335 words)

The RMT rail union was seeking renewed talks with South Western Railway (SWR) as it began its sixth ballot of members who continued strike action ...
Subscribers only

Dismay over job losses at Npower
 (346 words)

Unions reacted with dismay at news at the end of last year that energy giant Npower is to cut 4,500 jobs — and said the case had been made yet ...
Subscribers only

University leaders must speak out (235 words)

Sensible university leaders must speak out, the UCU lecturers’ union said last month in response to a letter from the UCEA university employers’ ...
Open access

Workers must stand together in face of likely government attacks
 (333 words)

The union movement expressed bitter disappointment over the Tories’ landslide victory in last month’s general election and called on working ...
Subscribers only

UK’s poorest regions fall behind
 (236 words)

The UK’s poorest regions have been falling behind the rest of Europe over the past decade, according to EU data analysed by the High Pay Centre ...
Open access

Health service vacancies crisis
 (106 words)

There are now 106,000 vacancies across the NHS in England, including over 44,000 vacancies in nursing, according to figures for the period up to ...
Open access

Fury over Unilever pension proposals
 (137 words)

Unions have slammed proposals by consumer product giant Unilever to close its defined benefit pension scheme for new starters and dramatically reduce ...
Open access

UK economic growth flatlining
 (212 words)

The UK economy was flat in the three months to October, official figures show. 
Open access

Earnings down (68 words)

If inflation is taken into account, average weekly earnings are less now than in 2010 when the Conservative-led coaltion government came to power.
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +2.1%, Average earnings +3.6% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

TUC equips reps to combat impact of far-right populism
 (292 words)

The TUC is campaigning to combat the influence of far-right propaganda by urging union reps to have “challenging conversations” with members. It ...
Subscribers only

Union leaders 
 (105 words)

The NASUWT teaching union will have a new general secretary in three months’ time after Dr Patrick Roache, the union’s “official nominee”, ...
Open access

European news

Opposition continues as pension plans are published (463 words)

The French government has finally published details of its plans to make changes to the French pension system. But their presentation by prime ...
Subscribers only

EU’s Green Deal proposals get thumbs up from union body
 (180 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has welcomed climate proposals presented in December by the new European Commission president, Ursula ...
Open access

Crowdworking ruling
 (154 words)

Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, has expressed its unhappiness at a decision by the labour court in Munich that an agreement between an ...
Open access

Sickness dismissals
 (102 words)

Spain’s two main union confederations, CCOO and UGT, have called on the government to change the current law which allows sick employees to be ...
Open access


Beneath the spycops scandal
 (2,329 words)

Trade unionists and others who were targeted by undercover police officers feel that much is still to be revealed about their activities. But will ...
Open access

The rise of global protest
 (2,523 words)

The dawning of a new decade sees a world in upheaval, as Labour Research reports.
Subscribers only

Education communities take action
 (2,186 words)

Labour Research looks at school, college and university student demands over climate change — and at how education unions are working with young ...
Subscribers only

Law Matters

Tribunal finds dismissal over salary leak unfair
 (474 words)

An employer had acted in an “extraordinarily heavy-handed manner” by dismissing an employee for sharing details of a senior executive’s salary ...
Subscribers only

Failure to pay allowance was direct discrimination (152 words)

The City of London Police’s failure to pay a police officer’s London Allowance throughout her maternity leave was direct sex discrimination, the ...
Open access

Claimant did not establish ‘course of conduct’ (251 words)

A perceived culture of sex discrimination was not enough to establish a “course of conduct” under the Equality Act 2010 , the employment appeal ...
Subscribers only

Law Queries

Complaint against me
 (440 words)

Q. My manager has called me to a meeting to discuss a complaint against me he says was made by a colleague. When I asked for details and who made the ...
Subscribers only

Third party harassment (367 words)

Q. About two years ago, I raised a grievance for sexual harassment against my manager. My grievance was upheld. In the end, no action was taken ...
Subscribers only

Law Back-up

Establishing the nature of ‘philosophical belief’
 (853 words)

Vegetarianism is not a philosophical belief, but veganism may be. Back-up looks at the uncertain definition of “philosophical belief” in equality ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Staffing crisis puts patient safety at risk
 (307 words)

The NHS staffing crisis is having serious consequences for both patients and health workers, unions are warning. 
Subscribers only

School buildings in disrepair
 (254 words)

A snapshot survey of 670 NEU teaching union members has highlighted the challenges schools and colleges face in ensuring their buildings are well ...
Subscribers only

Asbestos website for school community
 (64 words)

Safety campaigner Lucie Stephens has launched a new website to help parents, school staff and students find out if their school contains asbestos. ...
Open access

School staff cuts
 (91 words)

A survey by the UNISON public services union finds that almost a third (32%) of secondary school technicians think staff cuts are putting pupil ...
Open access

Action at Amazon
 (79 words)

The GMB general union staged Black Friday (29 November) and Cyber Monday (2 December) protests outside Amazon warehouses across the country in ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

What are trade unions’ priorities for 2020?
 (954 words)

As the new year gets under way, Back-up takes a look at the issues that will be at the forefront of union health and safety concerns in 2020. 
Subscribers only

Equality news

Half of musicians endure sexual harassment
 (349 words)

Almost half of musicians (48%) have experienced sexual harassment at work. 
Subscribers only

Despite progress, gender pensions gap persists
 (275 words)

Women still face a difficult retirement, despite record numbers of women saving for their pension pot. 
Subscribers only

Women teachers held back by sexism (222 words)

Sexist attitudes are holding women teachers back in their careers, stymying their ambition and undermining their achievements, a conference organised ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Presenteeism continues to be a worrying trend
 (894 words)

The latest official sickness absence statistics released at the end of last year sparked the usual headlines focusing on feckless workers “pulling ...
Subscribers only


e-views (426 words)

Of all the areas I work in, I find that one provokes more confusion and misunderstanding than the others — search engine optimisation (SEO).
Subscribers only

News from LRD

LRD Annual general meeting (113 words)

The 2020 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) is on Monday 18 May 2020 starting at 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, 171 Union ...
Open access