Latest union blog posts:

AMNT Summer Conference 2014 - Stephanie Flanders

John's Labour blog - 21 July 2014 - 11:29pm
I was only able to attend the first two sessions at this year's AMNT Summer conference before having to dash off to a represent a union member in a meeting out of London. Our first speaker was Stephanie Flanders, who is now the Chief Market Strategist for JP Morgan but much better known as being...

Speech: American Postal Workers Union (APWU), Chicago

Billy Hayes (CWU) - 21 July 2014 - 7:45pm
Thank you for the invitation to address your convention. A special thank you to your new President, Mark Dimondstein, for his hospitality. I am sure he will measure up to the problems you face. I...

Pension reform plans still risk confusion and mis-selling

ToUChstone blog - 21 July 2014 - 3:55pm
Having thrown the jigsaw up in the air with its hastily constructed plans to effectively allow pension savers to cash in their retirements pots, the Government is now trying to catch the pieces and put them back in some kind of order. In its response to a consultation on its so-called Freedom and...

Where now for workplace pensions?

ToUChstone blog - 21 July 2014 - 12:26pm
All the signs are that so far pensions auto-enrolment, which requires people to actively opt out if they don’t want to contribute to a workplace pension, has been a great success. But I argue in a blog published over at Pensions Insight that the financial services industry is being rather...

National Lottery Newham London Anniversary Run 2014

John's Labour blog - 20 July 2014 - 9:46pm
Off message but this morning I took part again in this 5 mile run in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. We were started by 2012 Olympic Cycling legend, Sir Chris Hoy (see bottom right of college). It was a great run around the Park. A little hot and humid but very friendly and...

West Ham at Grays #Labourdoorstep

John's Labour blog - 19 July 2014 - 5:43pm
This morning members of West Ham Labour Party were out knocking on doors in Grays, Essex with local Thurrock activists in support of their Parliamentary candidate, Polly Billington. Polly is in the group picture with West Ham MP Lyn Brown (holding Labour attack dog Cara). West Ham has been...

Let's Stay Together - 'Scotland, you're my best friend'

John's Labour blog - 18 July 2014 - 11:30pm
"This is the campaign for everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who doesn't have a vote in The Scottish Referendum, but wants to have voice in saying #letsstaytogether Take a closer look and sign up here: http://www.letsstaytogether.org.uk"

Conservative strike proposals: Short on detail and long on union bashing

ToUChstone blog - 18 July 2014 - 12:55pm
What the Tories are proposing today on strike regulation is an unprecedented attack on human rights in the UK. “Sensible and proportionate” says Francis Maude. The opposite is true – it is thuggish, prejudiced, political and utterly disproportionate. Trade unions are already heavily regulated and...

Tory ballots – where abstentions count more than votes

ToUChstone blog - 18 July 2014 - 11:50am
So now we know that the Conservative manifesto will require strike ballots to have a 50% turn out before they are valid. This is an absurd electoral system in which abstentions count more than votes against. Imagine two workforces of 1,000. Both have strike ballots. In Acme Rivets, 495 vote for...

Let us vote!

Going To Work - 18 July 2014 - 10:19am
We don't need more legal curbs on strike ballots, unions need to be allowed to use 21st century voting tools.

Stuart Barber "A true tribune of working people...a comrade in arms"

John's Labour blog - 17 July 2014 - 10:29pm
On Saturday I went to the celebration of the life of London UNISON regional officer and my good comrade, Stuart Barber, who sadly died unexpectedly of a heart attack earlier this year aged 64. The celebration was held in Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, Holborn. London UNISON regional secretary,...

Rising to the Challenge: A policy agenda for low pay

ToUChstone blog - 17 July 2014 - 4:29pm
2014 marks 15 years since the introduction of the UK’s first National Minimum Wage (NMW). At the time, the Chairman of the first Low Pay Commission (LPC), Professor George Bain, believed the measure heralded “a fundamental change to the labour market in the UK.” Fifteen years on and how has that...

Democracy in the Workplace: an idea whose time has come

ToUChstone blog - 17 July 2014 - 11:04am
Today, the TUC launches ‘Democracy in the Workplace: Strengthening Information and Consultation’. This report is part of a wider theme, developed by the TUC in recent years, designed to give workers a say in how their companies are run. Such a say, in theory, already exists. In 2005, the...

Saving our Safety Net - the Welfare State is Under Attack

John's Labour blog - 16 July 2014 - 9:39pm
 "We are not Scroungers" - 'Saving Our Safety Net' is a new campaign from the TUC to defend a decent welfare system that provides help to those who need it, when they need it. This short animation explains how under Universal Credit people who lose their jobs will have to wait for at least...

The DWP response to our campaign: is that the best they can come up with?

ToUChstone blog - 16 July 2014 - 5:07pm
Our Saving Our Safety Net campaign is up and running, foregrounding our call to stop the five week wait, complete with petition and everything. And I’d like to give an extra plug to Carl Packman’s brilliant report, Universal Credit: the problem of delay in benefit payments, with all the...

Stop the Five Week Wait!

Going To Work - 16 July 2014 - 5:07pm
Changes under Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit scheme will mean that anyone who loses their job will have to wait at least five weeks before they receive any financial help from the state.

Why we need to save our safety net

ToUChstone blog - 16 July 2014 - 9:00am
The strategic priority of this government is to shrink the state. Despite the recovery the cuts keep on coming. What we face now is not emergency, if mistaken, economics, but political strategy. The Chancellor wants public spending to go back to where it was as a share of national wealth in 1948,...

Say no to the five-week wait for help after losing your job

ToUChstone blog - 16 July 2014 - 8:30am
Today the TUC launches our Saving Our Safety Net campaign with a demand that the government withdraws plans to make people receiving the new Universal Credit wait for more than five weeks before they get their first cash. We are seriously worried that thousands of unemployed workers face hardship...

Labour Link Forum: Less than 10 months to get rid of Cameron and Tories

John's Labour blog - 15 July 2014 - 7:24pm
This report was posted on UNISON Active. UNISON Labour Link Forum took place this year in Bristol earlier this month. This is the national meeting of UNISON delegates from regions and Self Organised Groups who support our constitutional link with the Labour Party via the Labour Link (also known...

Older workers require real change not a personality gimmick

ToUChstone blog - 15 July 2014 - 9:46am
It is easy to imagine that in Whitehall, young fast track recruits to the civil service are inducted into the art of the external appointee. “For problems regarding investments, call Lord Myners, if you need to add the impression of cross-party consensus bring in Lord Hutton and if it is about old...

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