Labour Research January 2024

What say do we have over artificial intelligence? The use of artificial intelligence has the potential to fundamentally alter the way we work. How are unions approaching the issue?

No home improvements under Tory government Housing is increasingly unaffordable for workers under the cost-of-living crisis and a housing market driven by profit

Stemming the rise of the far right The far right has been mounting attacks on a range of minorities — from migrants to drag artists. What is the trade union response?


Care staff obliged to work while sick (251 words)

A new GMB “Sick of SSP” campaign aims to stamp out the scourge of Statutory Sick Pay in the care sector. At just £109 per week, SSP is ...
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New year sees unions set to continue strike action over pay (369 words)

Strike action over pay looks set to continue into 2024. While RMT rail union members voted to accept an unconditional pay offer and no compulsory ...
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Alternative plans for steel industry (290 words)

The GMB and Community unions have put forward a multi-union plan to secure a just transition for the workforce at Port Talbot in Wales and across ...
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Damaging and heartless new visa rules on immigration condemned (313 words)

New visa rules for the families of migrant workers will “tear families apart” and “plunge social care even deeper into crisis”, according to ...
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English councils in financial crisis (210 words)

Almost one in five council leaders and chief executives in England think it is likely the chief finance officer will need to issue a Section 114 ...
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STUC launches proposals on tax (233 words)

The STUC Scottish Trades Union Congress says the Scottish government could raise an extra £3.7 billion in taxes using its existing powers. ...
Open access

Inflation rates slow (60 words)

November saw the slowest inflation rates for over two years. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate was 5.3%, down from 6.1%,. ...
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Labour market indicators (178 words)

Uncertain jobs growth coupled with slowing wage growth were the highlights in labour market data released in December. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (422 words)

Inflation +5.3%, Average earnings +6.0% ...
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Union news

Unions endorse TUC plan to resist minimum service levels law (548 words)

Unions united in endorsing a TUC statement and plan to fight the government’s vicious strike laws at the TUC Special Congress held last month. ...
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Architectural workers join Unite (121 words)

A grassroots union for workers in architecture, the Section of Architectural Workers (SAW), has affiliated to Unite, forming a national branch of the ...
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PCS elects new leader (168 words)

The PCS public and commercial services union will become the latest large union to be led by a woman after Fran Heathcote won last month’s election ...
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UCU general secretary election (78 words)

UCU university and college union leader Jo Grady will be facing three challengers for her position when voting gets underway in that union’s ...
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European news

Finnish strikes continue (71 words)

Action by Finnish unions protesting against government plans to restrict the right to strike and make other changes to the country’s industrial ...
Open access

Polish minister promises new start (80 words)

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak, the labour minister in the new Polish government, has promised to work hard to improve the situation of Polish workers. ...
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Minimum wage (73 words)

Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Spain are the countries where employers are most likely to fail to pay the national minimum wage, ...
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Key agreement reached on EU platform workers’ directive (412 words)

EU-wide legislation giving new rights to workers employed through platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo came closer last month following agreement on ...
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Unions step up pressure on Tesla (243 words)

Swedish unions have taken further action against US electric vehicle maker Tesla to pressure the company to sign a collective agreement in a key test ...
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Computer says no? How can we have a say over AI? (2,176 words)

The government’s recent global summit on artificial intelligence was aimed at considering the risks of AI, especially at the “frontier of ...
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Tories ignore home truths (2,527 words)

Around 11.3 million people in England spend more than 40% of their household income on their home — more than any other country in Europe — while ...
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Stopping the rise of the far right (1,922 words)

Recent events have clearly demonstrated the rise in far right activity in Britain and Ireland. On 11 November, “emboldened by [then home secretary] ...
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Law Matters

Tories try to reverse agency workers ban (311 words)

The government is again attempting to overturn the ban on the use of agency workers during strikes, by launching a new consultation on the law change. ...
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Blow for deliveroo riders (310 words)

The Supreme Court has upheld previous judgments that Deliveroo riders are not employees, meaning they don’t have the right to unionise and have ...
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Minimum service levels code (235 words)

The government has published its response to the consultation that took place in 2023 on a statutory Code of Practice on the “reasonable steps” ...
Open access

Law Queries

Q&A (788 words)

Time limit for tribunal claim ...
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Law Back-up

What rights do zero hours contract workers have? (935 words)

There is no universal definition, but section 27A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 96) says a zero hours contract is a “worker’s contract ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Safety on film and TV sets (165 words)

A new study has revealed serious concerns about safety standards on UK film and TV sets, including a dangerous long-hours culture. ...
Open access

Urgent appeal for Hazards magazine (47 words)

The Hazards health and safety magazine for trade unionists has launched an urgent financial appeal to help it survive after losing a sizeable ...
Open access

Inspections ‘a risk to health and well-being’ (334 words)

The Families Against Corporate Killers campaign has welcomed the coroner’s conclusions at the inquest into the death of head teacher Ruth Perry. ...
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Abuse in schools condemned (195 words)

The UNISON Scotland public services union says new Scottish government research shows that the lowest paid — mostly women support staff — are ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Eliminating violence against women workers (908 words)

The UN event saw 16 days of action with unions setting out what they are doing to tackle the problem — and calling for employer and government ...
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Equality news

Young women experience discrimination at work (215 words)

The Young Women’s Trust charity reports that half of all the 4,061 young women aged 18-30 surveyed by them had experienced discrimination in the ...
Open access

Disability pay gap now higher than decade ago (282 words)

Non-disabled workers earn around 14.6% more than disabled workers according to new TUC analysis. ...
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Young workers hit hard (199 words)

A new study by the TUC reveals that almost three-quarters (72%) of young workers aged 16 to 24 do not qualify for key employment rights at work, ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Harsh economic reality for UK’s young workers (928 words)

Today’s economic reality for young workers is harsh. As part of its Young Workers Month late last year, the TUC’s Getting by and getting on ...
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