Annual Report: Central London BUIRA 2016


Three seminars were organised for the programme this year, each well-attended (30 -50 participants) and with very lively discussions, with the last being held jointly with Keele University. The programme focussed on European integration and the direction of employment and industrial relations and included the following:


29 April 2016, European integration, free movement and migration with Prof Bernard Ryan (University of Leicester) on EU migration and regulation in the UK labour market and Dr Eugenia Markova (University of Brighton) The impact of migration regulations on third-country nationals. This seminar focussed on the roles of migration and free movement in European integration, an area critical to understanding the direction of employment and industrial relations. Bernard Ryan from the University of Leicester  discussed the impact of EU labour migration and regulation, whilst Eugenia Markova from the University of Brighton drew on a recently completed empirical study of the transnational mobility and integration patterns of Bosnians-Herzegovinians, Ukrainians, Filipinos and Indians in the UK to discuss the impact of migration regulations on third-country nationals. (40 participants)


27 May 2016 European integration and the role of trade unions with Dr Torsten Müller, (European Trade Union Institute) Strategies to counter crisis-related attacks on trade union rights and Dr Aristea Koukiadaki (University of Manchester), Continuity and Change in Joint Regulation in Europe: Structural Reforms and Collective Bargaining in Manufacturing, with Professor Richard Hyman (LSE) as discussant. This seminar focussed on European integration and the direction of employment and industrial relations. Torsten Müller provided an overview of strategies by trade union organisations at European and national levels to counter attacks on trade union rights, showing how these are not limited to those countries directly affected by European-level interventions in the context of the misguided EU crisis management, but that – mainly conservative – governments in a range of European countries use the crisis as a pretext for attacks on union rights. Against this backdrop he outlined different strategies – legal action, mass demonstrations, political consultation and cross-national coordination – which unions try to cultivate in order to counter these attacks on trade union rights. And Aristea Koukiadaki discussed the findings from a recently completed research project on the impact of the austerity measures on national systems of collective bargaining in the EU Member States most affected by the crisis. (c 30 participants)


3 June 2016 The EU Referendum – issues for trade unionists. This seminar was organised in the run up to the Referendum and following a request by Steve French of Keele University to co-organise with funding from ESRC (UK in a Changing Europe). It was a very well attended event, introduced by Steve French, followed by:

  • Professor Michael Gold, Royal Holloway, European Union Social Policy – what does it provide and what are the implications of Brexit options?;
  • Gabriele Bischoff – DGB and President of the Workers’ Group European Economic and Social Committee, The EU Referendum – A European trade union perspective
  • John Hilary – War on Want, Free Trade Agreements and TTIP – the implications for the UK in or outside the European Union
  • Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary Unite, The implications for manufacturing and employment rights of Brexit – a trade union perspective

(c. 50 participants)


Linda Clarke, University of Westminster

Michael Gold, Royal Holloway

June 2016