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.

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


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. 

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