Blog

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.

Fast food workers’ health, safety and welfare in drive-thru’s

By Janet Newsham, Hazards Campaign

The IER manifesto makes an important contribution in emphasising the importance of collective bargaining. In the Hazards Campaign we know that where workers are working in low-paid, vulnerable employment then they are more at risk of injury, illness and ultimately dying as a result of their work.

‘Good Work’ the government’s Response to the Taylor Review

12 February 2018

By John Hendy QC, IER Chair and Barrister at Old Square Chambers

It might be hard to imagine that the tedious, barren worthlessness of Matthew Taylor's Report on 'Good Work' could be surpassed. But it has been. The government's Response to it (also called 'Good Work') is yet more tedious, barren and worthless. Both proceed on the basis that 'the UK has one of the most successful labour markets in the world'. For that reason all that is needed is to note some troubling issues like low productivity, low pay and income insecurity and do nothing about them. All other issues, we are told, will be given further consideration and consultation. No real change is proposed to anything.

Canada plus, plus, plus

19 December 2017

By Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC

I

David Davis has suggested that in place of the EU Treaties, the UK’s relations with the EU should be regulated by a deal which is ‘Canada, plus, plus, plus’. By this he means a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) based on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) agreed between the EU and Canada. The British people should treat the proposal with revulsion. It contains every one of the defects which led 3.5 million Europeans to sign a petition objecting to the now defunct TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the USA), a sister agreement to CETA. 

Raiding Trade Union Offices - a New Low for Australia

27 October 2017

By Barry Camfield in Australia

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) is Australia’s oldest and largest blue-collar trade union, representing over 100,000 working men and women and their families.

Review: "In Place of Austerity – a programme for the people"

24 October 2017

Bill Greenshields, People's Assembly National Steering Committee Member

Tracing the origins of austerity to the policies of government following the 2008 financial and economic crisis – which they claimed to be aimed at "deficit reduction" – the recently published People's Assembly Pamflet In Place of Austerity – a programme for the people says: "Many people now say that austerity policies have failed – and indeed deficit targets are routinely 'missed', and there has been no debt reduction ... in fact it has steadily grown from under 40% of GDP in 2008 to just under 90% in 2017. But the real aim of austerity was to stabilise the post-crisis economy in favour of the bankers and big business billionaires, raising the rate of profit at the expense of the working class. In that they have succeeded, and will continue to do so, if we let them."

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