Labour Research February 2023

Private financiers make a killing Public authorities continue to pay out eye-watering sums in annual charges for projects built under the Private Finance Initiative.

USA: a new wave of union organising despite declining membership over the last 40 years, unions in America appear to be making something of a comeback.

Labour Research interviews Paul Nowak In January, Paul Nowak took over at the helm of the TUC. Labour Research finds out his view of the TUC’s key tasks ahead.


Government’s anti-strike laws meet with day of action (379 words)

The TUC called on the public to support striking workers and oppose the Tory government’s new anti-strike laws at national day of action “protect ...
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The rich get richer as UK billionaire wealth balloons (280 words)

As more and more workers take strike action to demand fair pay rises in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, new research shows how the rich are ...
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First UK Amazon strike (119 words)

Hundreds of workers at a Coventry warehouse made history last month as they took part in the first ever Amazon strike in the UK. They walked out on 25 ...
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Privatisation u-turn on Channel 4 (124 words)

Media unions welcomed news that the government will scrap its planned privatisation of Channel 4. Unions in the Federation of Entertainment Unions ...
Open access

Strikes could see ‘biggest day of industrial action’ for NHS (346 words)

What could be “the biggest day of industrial action the NHS has ever seen” is set to take place on 6 February as a result of planned strikes by ...
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Pay review body snubbed (217 words)

Fourteen health unions representing more than a million ambulance staff, nurses, porters, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists and other health ...
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Tributes paid to Mike Grindley (129 words)

Civil service unions have paid tribute to Mike Grindley, who died last month aged 85. ...
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Rights devastated under Brexit Bill (110 words)

The Unite general union accused the government of “setting fire” to workers’ rights in its “forever war” against workers that will see them ...
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Slight drop in inflation (69 words)

A further slight fall across all inflation measures in the year to December had very little impact on the rate at which the cost of living is rising. ...
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Labour market indicators (198 words)

More strikes and higher earnings growth were the two headline-grabbing trends last month. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +13.4%, Average earnings +6.7% ...
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Union news

Merger talks under way with transport union and GMB (410 words)

The TSSA transport staffs union is in merger talks with the GMB general union, following the abandonment of its planned merger with the US-based ...
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General secretary suspended (249 words)

Corruption allegations led the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICTU) to suspend its general secretary, Luca Visentini, in December, only ...
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Prospect political fund retained (72 words)

Members of specialists’ union Prospect have overwhelmingly voted to retain the union’s political fund. In a membership ballot, which the union is ...
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EIS wins £300K (79 words)

Injured or assaulted members of Scotland’s EIS teaching union have been compensated by a total of £300,000 over the past year, with most ...
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New leaders (86 words)

Gerry Murphy has been named as the leading representative for the trade union movement in Northern Ireland by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions ...
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European news

Unions continue to challenge government pension reforms (380 words)

More than a million people took to the streets across France on 19 January as part of ongoing protests over government plans to make changes to the ...
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Concerns over Tesla plant (244 words)

Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, has expressed concerns over developments in the new Tesla electric vehicle plant at Grünheide near Berlin. ...
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Protest against victimisation (133 words)

Hungarian unions are protesting against legislation under which striking teachers must work for months with the threat of dismissal hanging over them. ...
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Further strikes in Netherlands (108 words)

FNV, the largest union in the Netherlands, expects further strikes in the next few months as part of its campaign for improved pay. ...
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PFI: ‘The rip-off that just keeps on taking’ (2,351 words)

It is just over 30 years since former Tory chancellor Norman Lamont announced the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in November 1992. ...
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America sees union surge (2,420 words)

There was cheering outside the offices of America’s National Labor Relations Board in New York as union organiser Chris Smalls declared: “We ...
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What are Nowak’s priorities? (2,350 words)

Last month, Paul Nowak took over as TUC general secretary following Frances O’Grady’s retirement after a decade at the helm. ...
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Law Matters

Covid dismissal was not automatically unfair (332 words)

The July 2022 issue of Labour Research reported on the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in the first Covid-19 case of dismissal relating to ...
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Tribunal erred in reducing redundancy compensation (303 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided a tribunal was wrong to reduce unfair redundancy compensation to nil in Teixeira v Zaika Restaurant Ltd ...
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Wales Real Living Wage uplift (102 words)

The Welsh Government has announced approximately £70 million in annual funding to implement the Real Living Wage of £10.90 per hour in social care. ...
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‘Fairer Scotland’ anti-racism plan (133 words)

The government in Scotland has introduced its strategy plan, A fairer Scotland for all: an anti-racist employment strategy, outlining how it intends ...
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Law Queries

‘Reconsideration’ of tribunal decision (399 words)

nA member lost his tribunal case, with the tribunal saying some acts of discrimination happened too long ago and his dismissal wasn’t unfair. He ...
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Must I move to a new site? (393 words)

nThe site where I work is closing and my employer says I need to move to the new site, 10 miles away from the current workplace. But I live in the ...
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Law Back-up

Monitoring of employees: what are the legal issues? (859 words)

In October 2022, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published draft guidance on monitoring at work. The ICO regulates and enforces data ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Pension plans ignore the sick and injured (297 words)

The government is failing to take account of workers forced out of their jobs due to ill health and injury as it prepares to increase the state ...
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Unions secure compensation (261 words)

The UNISON public services union has won a massive £29 million in compensation for members and their families, with work-related personal injury ...
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Asbestos remains widespread in London’s NHS buildings (232 words)

Hundreds of NHS buildings across London still contain asbestos, according to a new survey for the TUC and the All Party Parliamentary Group on ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Tories deal heavy blow to modern slavery law (1,658 words)

In December 2022, Greater Manchester Police said four Vietnamese men killed in a fire in a derelict mill in Oldham were likely to have been the ...
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Equality news

Disabled people suffer greater financial stress (328 words)

Working-age people with a disability are far more likely to be poor than the rest of the population, according to a new survey by independent think ...
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Hardship in households on low incomes is severe (302 words)

A new report by independent social change organisation the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reveals that the hardship faced by low-income households ...
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Employees stay silent on mental health problems (227 words)

Few employees would admit to suffering from depression or anxiety to their employer — even when taking time off to deal with it. This is despite ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Is the post-lockdown retirement trend over? (931 words)

“Given the current cost-of-living crisis, it’s no wonder we keep hearing that many are either changing retirement plans or having to return to ...
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