Mick Lynch: The making of a working-class hero

‘Mick Lynch: The making of a working-class hero’ by Gregor Gall was published on 2 January 2024 by Manchester University Press – see https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526173096/.
The book examines Lynch’s background and rise to the leadership of the RMT union as well as his leadership of the two national rail disputes from 2022 onwards. The book celebrates as well as critiques Lynch as a left-wing union leader, recognising his undoubted skills of articulation and his advocacy of wider social justice and social democracy while asking search questions about the conduct, strategy and tactics of the two disputes. 
Please ask your institutional libraries to order copies.
If you are ordering your own copy, please use the GG30 code at the checkout on MUP’s website to obtain a 30% discount on the cover price of £20.00. This discount is only available until 31 January 2024.
There will be book launches in Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Limerick, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham in February and March (details on venues, dates and times to follow).

The Real Living Wage: Civil Regulation and the Employment Relationship

Edmund Heery, Deborah Hann, David Nash

This book presents a case study of the campaign to promote the voluntary or ‘real’ Living Wage, a labour standard developed by the community organizing network Citizens UK which has been adopted by more than 16,000 employers. The book is only available in hardback or ebook at present but the publisher, Oxford University Press, is currently offering a 30 per cent discount. To make use of this offer, order through the OUP website (https://global.oup.com/academic/) and use the discount code: ASFLYQ6.

One of the chapters is also currently available on open access. Chapter Three of the book, The Campaign for the Living Wage, describes the linked organizations that have developed the campaign, Citizens UK and its sister-body the Living Wage Foundation. It also describes the methods that they have used: a sometimes, awkward combination of community organizing and promotion of the standard to receptive employers. To access this chapter, use the following link: https://academic.oup.com/book/46807/chapter/413830648.

European Works Councils: The Effects of Brexit

Speakers: Catherine Barnard (University of Cambridge) and Jonathan Hayward (UNITE the Union)

Tuesday, 23 January 2024, 17.30-19.30 (UK time) (Zoom seminar)

Following the Brexit referendum in 2016, the UK finally left the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2021. The repercussions on economic growth, patterns of migration, trade and a battery of other areas are extensive and ongoing. For trade unions, the effects of Brexit on the operation of European works councils (EWCs) are particularly concerning, as EWCs – under the terms of directives dating from 1994 and 2009 – provide the framework for transborder information and consultation rights for workers in many multinational companies across the EU. To what extent are these companies using Brexit to roll back workers’ rights? How are the effects being felt in the UK, and other EU member states? How are unions in the UK and in the EU reacting?

In this on-line seminar we welcome Catherine Barnard and Jonathan Hayward, two internationally-known experts on EWCs, to address these issues and to lead a discussion on the legal and practical challenges.

To register, please use the Eventbrite link below:



17.30 Michael Gold (Chair): Introduction

17.40 Catherine Barnard: Brexit and the Legal Challenges facing European Works Councils

Catherine will address the main legal challenges that confront European works councils following Brexit, particularly those located in UK multinational companies. These include their changed status under UK legislation, as well as the effects that UK withdrawal has on the calculation of company size thresholds that trigger inclusion under the term of the EWC Directives.

18.10 Jonathan Hayward: Brexit and the Practical Challenges facing European Works Councils

Jonathan will consider the main practical challenges that Brexit has created for the functioning of EWCs, particularly for the continuation of those based in UK multinationals, the continued participation of UK employees within the scope of EWCs, challenges for UK employees/reps in the future and the responses from Unite and its European allies.

Discussion: 18.40-19.30

19.30 Close


Our speakers:

Catherine Barnard has been Professor of EU Law and Employment Law at Trinity College, Cambridge, since 2008. She is the author of European Union Law (2020) and The Substantive Law of the European Union: The Four Freedoms (2019), among many other publications, and Senior Fellow in the UK in a Changing Europe project. She is a regular contributor to radio and television programmes on the impact of Brexit.

Jonathan Hayward is an experienced International Officer in UNITE the Union who has an extensive level of knowledge in the area of European industrial relations and European works councils. Jonathan is a recognised lead expert negotiator in EWC negotiations and has negotiated EWC agreements under various EU member state laws and more recently under Irish law due to the impact of Brexit. He also acts as trade union expert/coordinator to a number of EWCs on behalf of the European Trade Union Federations, including International Airlines Group (IAG), GE Aviation and Swissport.


ESRC’s horizon-scanning survey on Work, Education & Skills

The ESRC’s Work, Education and Skills (WES) team are exploring the potential shape of a new research agenda in our portfolio space.

We are very keen to hear from the academic, policy, business, and third-sector communities about what you think will be the big persistent and future challenges over the coming decades in the following priority areas:

  • Work: a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable labour force and market
  • Education: societal impacts on educational provision, educational inequalities, special education needs and disability, and skills for life.

For full details and the opportunity to submit your ideas, please go to our online survey ESRC horizon-scanning survey: Work, Education and Skills’ hosted on the UKRI Engagement Hub.


The survey closes on Friday 1st December.

Link to survey: https://engagementhub.ukri.org/esrc-1/weshorizonscanningsurvey

Call for nominations for ILERA President-elect and ILERA Executive Committee members

The next ILERA Council meeting will take place on Friday, June 27 2024 at 4:15pm EST during the upcoming 20th ILERA World Congress, to be held in person in New York City (at the NYC mid-town Hilton Hotel) between 26 and 29 June.

The Council will elect the next President-elect of ILERA as well as Executive Committee members for vacant positions.

At the conclusion of the 20th ILERA World Congress, Professor Harry Katz from the US will step down as President of ILERA, and Professor Rae Cooper from the Australia, the current President-elect, will assume the role as President of ILERA.

Nominations are invited for the next President-elect of ILERA.

The next President-elect of ILERA will assume the role as President at the conclusion of the 20th ILERA World Congress in 2024, and serve a three-year-term and be responsible for the organisation of the 21st ILERA World Congress in 2027.

In selecting the President-elect, the nominee’s engagement in ILERA and contributions to the field of labour and employment relations is of importance, as well as the capacity to organise a World Congress. Furthermore, geographical rotation and gender equality will be taken into account.

Nominations are invited for members of the ILERA Executive Committee for the period 2024–2027.

There are vacant positions representing the African, Asian and European regions.

The Executive Committee of ILERA is responsible for determining the programme of the Association, subject to such guidance or instruction as it may receive from the Council.

Letters of nominations should be accompanied by the nominee’s résumé/curriculum vitae or by a substantial account of the accomplishments of the nominee, including his/her engagement in ILERA, and should be sent to the ILERA Secretariat at ilera@ilo.org.

Deadline for nominations: 23 April 2024

The Return of Strikes: Implications for Industrial Relations

24 November 2023, 10:30am-4pm  

The University of Leicester main campus and via Teams. Free registration at: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/futureofwork/1053494

Britain has, over the past year and a half, experienced its highest level of strike action since the 1980s. There have been similar upsurges in industrial action in many other countries, including France, Portugal and the US. This inaugural research event of the new Future of Work research cluster at the University of Leicester, will discuss the implications of the recent rise in strike action for the theory and practice of industrial relations.

The event will consist of two panels and is open to academics and to all those with an interest in work, employment and industrial relations.

Session 1: The strike wave in Britain and its implications (11:00-12:45)  

With Professor Jane Holgate (University of Leeds) and Professor Ralph Darlington (Salford University)

Session 2: Surveying the terrain, strikes in the US, France and beyond (13:45-15:30)  

With Eric Blanc (Rutgers, US) and Kevin Guillas-Cavan (IRES, France), and Lisa Sezer (Leicester) as discussant.

The event will be in a hybrid format: in person on the main campus of the University of Leicester and via Teams online. Once registered, you will be sent venue details or a link for Teams as appropriate.

Speaker details: 

Jane Holgate is Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Leeds. She is the author of Arise: Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence (Pluto, 2021) and co-editor of Union Voices: Developing Organizing in the UK (Ithaca, 2012). She has held a number of positions in the trade union movement and has worked on research projects with trade unions, including the GMB, TGWU, CWU, Bectu, Usdaw and the Trades Union Congress.

Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at Salford University, Fellow and Honorary Member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association. He is editor of What’s the Point of Industrial Relations: In Defence of Critical Social Science (BUIRA, 2009), and author of Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism (Haymarket, 2013), Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks, 2001, with Dave Lyddon), and Labour Revolt in Britain 1910-14 (Pluto, 2023).

Eric Blanc is an assistant professor of labour studies at Rutgers University. He is the author of Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics (Verso, 2019) and Revolutionary Social Democracy: Working-Class Politics Across the Russian Empire, 1882-1917 (Haymarket, 2022).

Kevin Guillas-Cavan is an economist working in Paris at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (IRES). His studies focus on industrial relations and trade union strategy, especially at the firm level.

Lisa Sezer is a lecturer in work and employment at the University of Leicester School of Business and a member of the Future of Work research cluster.

For further information, please email Joseph Choonara (jc770@le.ac.uk).


Decent work and the city: Regulation from above and below

Date and Time: Wednesday 06 December 2023, 14:00 – 15:30

Speaker: Mat Johnson, Senior lecturer in Employment Studies, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester.

Title: Decent work and the city: Regulation from above and below (Abstract attached)

Location: The seminar will be hybrid (In-person at WBS room 1.001 and Online via Zoom). Please email Louise Cullen (irruoffice@wbs.ac.uk) if you are attending in-person (for security purposes and entry in the WBS building).


Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/irru-202324-speaker-series-with-mat-johnson-tickets-754621562407?aff=oddtdtcreator

The government’s new anti-strike legislation

You are cordially invited to the upcoming seminar on The government’s new anti-strike legislation between 14:00-16:00, Wednesday 22nd November in HH102 Hamilton House.The Government’s New Anti-Strike Legislation The Government’s New Anti-Strike Legislat

Please find the details below and on this Eventbrite link. We would be delighted if you could join us for a timely discussion about the legal changes and the reasons behind the anti-strike legislation as well as trade union responses to the new law. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

CREW Seminar: The government’s new anti-strike legislation

Date and time: 14:00-16:00, Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Location: HH102 Hamilton House, University of Greenwich
The minimum service levels law explained.  The theory behind it and the trade union response.
Dr Ioannis Katsaroumpas, University of Sussex
Dr Ioannis Katasroumpas is a Lecturer in Employment Law in the Department of Law at the University of Sussex. His most recent research focuses on UK and Greek collective labour law and international labour law. Dr Katsaroumpas has been the author (or co-author) of reports of the European Parliament, the International Labour Organisation and the European Trade Union Institute. He is an executive committee member of the Hellenic Observatory of Institutions, Culture and Development of the University of Athens and coordinator of the Committee of Labour and Social Rights. Dr Katsaroumpas holds an LL.B (First Class) from the University of Athens, M.Jur, M. Phil in Law (Distinction) and D. Phil in law from the University of Oxford. His article on the Act can be found here
Hannah Reed, Unite the union
Hannah Reed is the Co-ordinator of Constitutional Affairs at Unite the Union. She was formerly a Senior Employment Rights Officer in the TUC’s Economic and Social Affairs Department. She was responsible for trade union and employment law, including collective and individual employment rights.  Hannah used to represent the TUC on the Employment Tribunal User Group and previously was a Member of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority Board.  She is also an Executive Committee Member of the Industrial Law Society.
Getting to and from Greenwich Campus
The venue is about ten minutes on foot from the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich DLR Station and 14 minutes on a bus or 16 minutes on foot from Greenwich Train Station. We intend to also set up an online meeting link in case anyone registered for this event wishes to join us remotely.
By train
You can access London Underground services via Greenwich DLR Station and Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich DLR Station. You can access National Rail services via Greenwich Station and Maze Hill Station.
By boat
The Thames Clipper will take you from Greenwich to Westminster in 35 minutes.
By car
There is a public car park just outside the campus in Park Row.