Blog

Two neoliberal infernos: Grenfell, and Piper Alpha 30 years on

06 July 2018

By David Whyte, University of Liverpool

Thirty years ago today the Piper Alpha oil platform exploded and was engulfed in flames killing 167 people. Only 61 survived in in what remains the world’s worst offshore disaster.

Wage war: Delivering workplace justice through union collective bargaining

29 June 2018

By John Hendy QC, IER Chair

The sole justification for the policies of austerity inflicted on most of the peoples of the world has been that there is a structural deficit in the finances of government that must be reduced. That austerity has nearly everywhere increased those deficits came as a surprise to no-one. Indeed, austerity could have had no other consequence.

The Time Has Come for Sectoral Bargaining

By Larry Cohen, Chair of Our Revolution

It is now clear that enterprise-based organizing and bargaining in the U.S. has a dim future. U.S. workers’ collective bargaining coverage is back to early twentieth century levels, and even the Democrats’ landslide national election of 2008 produced little measurable change when it came to workers’ rights. For my union colleagues the challenge is how to focus more effectively on the 90 million workers left out of collective bargaining, realizing that more than ever the 15 million still represented by unions cannot realize major gains on their own.

What are the barriers to improving union recognition in the workplace?

By Sarah Veale, Institute of Employment Rights

12 June 2018

Legislation giving workers the right to have their union recognised by their employer exists but is weak and little used.

Regulating supply chains – reclaiming our rights

12 June 2018

By Aristea Koukidaki, The University of Manchester

The structuring of contemporary production methods, often complex and global in scope, creates an environment that is conducive to worker exploitation.

Blacklisted workers need more than a public inquiry - they need a change in the law

27 March 2018

By Alex Just, employment and trade union law expert

Friday's admission by the Metropolitan Police that special branch officers colluded in the blacklisting of construction workers came as no surprise to the thousands of people whose livelihoods were destroyed by the blacklisting scandal. For years, we knew that police officers met with The Consulting Association (TCA) – a blacklist operation run by 44 major construction firms – and infiltrated union meetings and pickets. As one of the barristers who represented hundreds of blacklisting victims in their 2016 High Court case – at which 24 firms publicly admitted to having run an illegal blacklist – I have seen first-hand the devastation that years of joblessness wrought on innocent workers and their families. Unions are right to call for a public inquiry to bring those responsible to account. Secretary of the Blacklist Support Group, Dave Smith, and I joined that call in our recent report for the Institute of Employment Rights (IER): Blacklisting: the need for a public inquiry.

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