Blog

Collective Bargaining and Fair Work at the Heart of Wales’ Future,

15 July 2019

By Lydia Hayes, University of Cardiff

On Tuesday 16th (tomorrow) the Institute of Employment Rights and Wales TUC will hold a public meeting in Cardiff on trade union rights and fair work. The backdrop is a landmark announcement by Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Trade unions are at the core of a new plan for Welsh Government. It will embed social partnership and collective bargaining in law. The proposed Social Partnership Act will create new legal duties so that decision-making inside government departments is informed by agreements reached with trade unions and employers’ organisations. The Act will also create a new government directorate, the Office of Fair Work, with a cross-cutting remit to work across all areas of government. The aim is to put the interests of working people, and collective bargaining, at the heart of Wales’ future.

How the ministry of labour will defeat neoliberalism

03 July 2019

By Laura Pidcock, Shadow Minister for Labour

The work of the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) over the last three decades has been essential and remains so today.

This care home crisis is a labour rights issue

01 July 2019

By Ben Crawford, University of Liverpool

Who would you trust to make decisions around an elderly relative’s care – care home workers, or hedge fund managers?

Protecting the right to strike in the ILO and the European Court of Human Rights: the significance of Appn No 44873/09 Ognevenko v Russia

31 May 2019

By Tonia Novitz, Professor of Labour Law, University of Bristol

Freedom of association is a foundational principle of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Not only is this principle recognised in the ILO Constitution, first established as Part XIII of the Treaty of Versailles, a century ago; but it is integral to the tripartite structure of the ILO, which relies on collective worker and employer organisations for its very operation. From the 1950s onwards, ILO supervisory bodies such as the Governing Body Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) and the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) have asserted that freedom of association also entails a right to strike. The CEACR has considered that the entitlement to organise and take industrial action is implicit in ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organise, which guarantees to trade unions the entitlement to organise their own activities. The CFA has considered the right to strike so vital to freedom of association that it is constitutionally guaranteed, regardless of ratification of ILO Convention No. 87 (or any other ILO Convention). On this basis, these committees have developed an extensive body of jurisprudence regarding protection of the right to strike and the legitimate restrictions that may be placed on its exercise – for it is not an unlimited entitlement, but must be subject to other aspects of private and public interest. That state of affairs continued for more than 50 years, until the employers’ group walked out of the ILO Conference Committee on the Application of Standards, objecting to protection of the right to strike under ILO Convention No. 87. This was a blow to the tripartite cooperation which had long been a feature of the ILO (see La Hovary, 2013 and Bellace, 2014), and to the potential influence of ILO standards regarding the right to strike in human rights litigation internationally, including before the European Court of Human Rights.

We need to fight the Thatcher revolution with progressive ideas of our own

30 May 2019

A ministry of labour would be the ultimate resistance to the Thatcher revolution and begin reversing decades of anti-union legislation, Professor Keith Ewing has said.

The Institute for Employment Rights takes its manifesto to Washington

01 March 2019

By Carolyn Jones, IER Director

Last week, the officers of the Institute of Employment Rights were guest speakers at an international conference of trade unionists, policy makers and academics in Washington DC.

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