Whispers from Wisconsin – Taking lessons from austerity’s newest victim

James Wold
James Wold

3 July 2015

By James Wold, Marquette University Law School

The following article is the first in what we hope to be a series of articles by a colleague from Wisconsin, James Wold. James is an exchange law student visiting the UK. His time here is likely to coincide with the introduction of the Conservative’s Trade Union Bill. We’ve asked James to compare developments in the UK with experiences in America. In this article, James sets the scene, highlighting the Scott Walker attacks on the collective bargaining rights of teachers in Wisconsin and the labour movement’s response.

Human Rights at Work: possibilities and problems for Labour Law

1 July 2015

By Roger Jeary, IER Blogger

On the hottest day in London this year, the Institute welcomed delegates to the GMB London Office to hear from leading legal and academic experts on the impact of government promises to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. The conference programme also looked at the wider impact of human rights on the world of work and what it might mean for labour law in the UK.

Does the model need fixing? Adapting organized labour and trade unions for the 21st century

22 June 2015

James Wold, second year law student at Marquette University in Milwaukee

The Industrial Revolution brought with it two key elements that carry on today – the defining of education standards and the establishment of trade unions. At one time, both were considered pillars of achievement throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century. By the 1840s, England had nearly 700 grammar schools and more than 2,000 endowed schools.1 However, both institutions are threatened by external forces which threaten to undermine their very existence.

Workplace issues: taking up the issues with the new government

10 June 2015

By Roger Jeary

In its first event since the general election, the Institute examined the consequences for trade unionists and workers’ rights of the election of a conservative government, albeit with a small majority. The conference brought together experts in the field of employment rights, health and safety and whistleblowing as well as psychologists looking at the psychological impact of austerity.

TTIP, ISDS and INTA; the elephant in the room

5 June 2015

By Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the secret trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA. Its text is a closely guarded secret shared only by the negotiators (including representatives of multinational corporations). Drafts are withheld from both MEPs and members of all the European national Parliaments (as well as US congress and senate members).

Trade Union Bill

27 May 2015

By Carolyn Jones, Director, Institute of Employment Rights

The Trade Union Bill announced in the Queen’s speech holds few surprises. We knew it was coming. The Tories and their big business friends don’t like “third party interference” in the labour market. To them unions are a hindrance – and a popular one at that! So the Conservatives hope that by tying unions up in ever more restrictive laws, unions will fail to deliver their promises to provide a voice in the workplace and to protect workers’ rights.

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