Labour Research March 2020

Interview with Labour leadership candidates - The candidates for leadership of the Labour Party respond to questions from Labour Research on issues of interest to unions; How well are women represented in UK unions? - Labour Research’s biennial survey examines union efforts to improve women’s participation and representation; AI and digitalisation: what do they mean for women? - How is the so-called "fourth industrial revolution" and technological change impacting on women workers?


Local authority unions reject ‘deeply disappointing’ offer
 (354 words)

Unions have rejected a pay offer of 2% for council workers, describing it as “deeply disappointing”, and are now seeking a dramatically improved ...
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HS2 go-ahead welcomed, with proviso over consultation (275 words)

Rail unions have welcomed prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, which will run between London and ...
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Climate report
 (105 words)

A new report by the PCS civil service union sets out the changes the union believes are needed in the Department for Transport (DfT) to make it ready ...
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UCU strikes (131 words)

As Labour Research went to press, members of the University and College Union (UCU) were undertaking strike action across 74 universities for 14 days ...
Open access

BBC consultation is about ‘dismantling’ the institution
 (290 words)

The government consultation into decriminalising the BBC licence fee has been branded a “deliberate and ideologically motivated act of sabotage” ...
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Warning issued over trade 
 (250 words)

The Unite union has warned that the government’s revelation that frictionless trade will cease at the end of this year, will place “jobs on the ...
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Cleaners want end to privatisation (238 words)

The RMT transport union is calling on London mayor Sadiq Khan to bring the London Underground cleaning contract back in-house after a report exposed ...
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Inflation ratchets up (83 words)

In January, the annual inflation rate under the Retail Prices Index was up to 2.7% from 2.2% at the end of 2019.Inflation under the Consumer Prices ...
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Unemployment rate unchanged
 (203 words)

Unemployment was down by 16,000 at the end of last year, latest official figures show. Unemployment in the UK in the three-month period October to ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (424 words)

Inflation +2.7%, Average earnings +2.8% ...
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Union news

Unions declare preferences for leadership candidates (284 words)

The 12 trade unions affiliated to the Labour party were highly influential in determining which of the four Labour leadership hopefuls made it on to ...
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Labour Party NEC union reps (41 words)

Two new union representatives have been appointed to the Labour Party NEC to replace two who have left. They are Tom Warnett, a GMB political ...
Open access

Reaching out to young workers (287 words)

Simply informing young workers about what unions have to offer — albeit through modern communications methods — is insufficient to recruit them ...
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General secretaries
 (72 words)

Matt Wrack has been re-elected as general secretary of the 32,000-strong Fire Brigades Union for a fourth term. He took 67% of the vote in a ...
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New leader takes over at STUC
 (68 words)

Rozanne Foyer will become the Scottish TUC’s new general secretary when incumbent Grahame Smith retires later this year. 
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App-based transport-based workers
 (84 words)

Workers from around the world working in app-based transport services, such as Uber and Bolt, have established an International Alliance of App-Based ...
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European news

New Spanish government makes first changes to labour legislation
 (263 words)

The new Spanish government has announced the first changes to the 2012 employment legislation brought in by the previous conservative ...
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Opposition to Macron continues
 (370 words)

Union opposition to government plans to make major changes to the pension system continues to bring tens of thousands onto the streets in France, ...
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Commission sets out plans for 2020
 (152 words)

The European Commission, the body responsible for proposing legislation for the EU, has presented its plans for 2020, and they include a number of ...
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German workers choose more time off 
 (99 words)

The latest figures from Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, show that a growing number of workers are choosing to have more time off rather than ...
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Leadership contenders talk to Labour Research
 (2,664 words)

Labour Research contacted the three candidates for the Labour leadership and asked for their views on five key trade union issues.
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Women leaders on the up?
 (2,112 words)

The latest biennial Labour Research Women in Unions survey looks at whether women are reaching the top of Britain’s largest unions. 
Open access

The revolution will not be feminised?
 (1,809 words)

How is the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” and the introduction of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and ...
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Law Matters

Acas issues guidance on use of non-disclosure agreements
 (427 words)

The Acas employment advisory service has published guidance on the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). 
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Employee charged with criminal offence was not unfairly dismissed (205 words)

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgment confirms that it’s not necessarily unfair to dismiss someone because they have been charged with ...
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Law Queries

Redundancy pay for part-time workers
 (312 words)

Q. I have been employed for 11 years by my current employer. A year ago, I reduced my hours from full time (35 hours per week) to part time (20 hours ...
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Deduction for partial strike (352 words)

Q. We are in dispute with our employer about the introduction of a new pattern of work that would involve us working longer hours. We have ...
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Time off for antenatal yoga (154 words)

Q. Am I entitled to paid time off work for pregnancy yoga classes, or just GP and hospital antenatal classes? ...
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Law Back-up

Changes to workers’ rights set to come into effect
 (826 words)

Back-up highlights key changes to workers’ rights that will come into effect on 6 April 2020
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Health & Safety Matters

Deregulation must be taken into account
 (305 words)

The Grenfell Tower inquiry must look at the decades of deregulation that have undermined fire safety and follow the line of investigation “right to ...
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Inquiry is needed to establish truth behind Zane’s death
 (298 words)

An independent panel inquiry must be set up to find out the truth about how seven-year-old Zane Gbangola died when his home was flooded in February 20 ...
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Low-quality jobs impact on workers’ health (264 words)

New research shows that more than a third (36%) of UK employees report having a low-quality job that can harm their health. The analysis by the ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Coronavirus outbreak: keeping workers safe
 (933 words)

Back-up looks at trade union advice and demands for keeping workers safe in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
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Equality news

#Metoo movement lets people’s voices be heard
 (355 words)

Almost seven in 10 (68%) people think the #MeToo movement has allowed people to be more open about sexual harassment, according to a TUC poll ...
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Still too few BME board members in top companies
 (284 words)

More than a third of the UK’s 100 largest companies are expected to miss a target to have at least one director from an ethnic minority by 2021, ...
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Men continue to dominate in all spheres (259 words)

Men continue to dominate every sector of UK public life, politics and business, and equality is “still generations away”, finds the 2020 Sex and ...
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Workplace Back-up

Working families are still locked in poverty (891 words)

The annual UK state-of-the-nation poverty report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, published last month, describes poverty as “a critical issue ...
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e-views (457 words)

I’ve worked on and built many websites over the years, especially in the union movement. During this time I’ve developed sites in everything from ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (102 words)

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