The BA Cabin Crew Dispute: Why Academics ‘Take Sides’

24 March 2017

By Ralph Darlington, Professor of Employment Relations, University of Salford

When 67 industrial relations academics based in Business Schools from across the UK recently signed their name to an open letter published in The Guardian backing British Airways' (BA) cabin crew who have been taking strike action over the issue of pay, it provoked predictable objections on the basis that they were 'biased' and engaging in 'partisan' behaviour linked to the trade unions. This raises an interesting and important question – is it justifiable for industrial relations academics to 'take sides' in researching the nature of the employment relationship and in the face of industrial disputes?

Workers need a voice but Taylor can’t provide it

21 March 2017

By Sarah Glenister, National Development Officer, Institute of Employment Rights

Matthew Taylor has made preliminary proposals as to how employment law could change to prevent exploitation, but in an article originally published by the Scottish Left Review, Sarah Glenister explains how without stronger trade union rights, it will not be possible for workers to stand up to unscrupulous employers.

Migration after Brexit: the challenge to labour standards

By Roger Jeary, IER blogger

Roger Jeary, a delegate at the Institute of Employment Rights’ Migration After Brexit: the Challenge to Labour Standards event, provides a detailed report on the debate, including free downloads of the papers and presentations given by the nine experts on our panel.

The so-called “party of workers” shows its true colours today

01 March 2017

By Sarah Glenister, National Development Officer, Institute of Employment Rights

On taking the mantle of Prime Minister last year, Theresa May attempted to rebrand the Tories the “party of workers”. The outcome of the referendum had been widely interpreted as a battlecry from a much maligned working class. Meanwhile, a rising tide of exposes in the national press had horrified a nation by revealing Dickensian conditions at major employers like Sports Direct and Amazon.

BREXIT: How do we stand in solidarity with both migrant and UK workers at a time of great division?

16 February 2017

By Sarah Glenister, National Development Officer, Institute of Employment Rights

The future is uncertain for migrant workers in the UK as the government prepares to trigger Article 50 next month. Thus far, Theresa May has neglected to provide any assurances to the three million EU workers living in the UK that they will be able to remain in the country and in their jobs. As Jeremy Corbyn told the Guardian this week, the Tories have taken on a "hunger games approach to Brexit". "Families, jobs and homes are all in the balance," he said, accusing the Tories of "playing political games with people's lives".

Trade unions can fix our employment tribunal disaster

08 February 2017

By Ben Crawford, Assistant Editorial Officer, IER

The findings of the Ministry of Justice Review of employment tribunal fees, which was finally released this week, show that despite much rhetoric about ‘fairness’ and ‘an economy that works for all’, the Conservatives still fundamentally disregard the importance of workers’ rights.

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