News Room

The latest news from BUIRA

UCS work-in commemoration meeting series

The next meeting in the UCS work-in commemoration series of meetings, organised by the Jimmy Reid Foundation and supported by UNTE Scotland, is on the eve of the 2021 STUC Congress at 6pm on Sunday 18 April.  

It is called 'We are not rats! From UCS to BiFab and beyond - the struggle for decent work'.  

The speakers are Mary Alexander, UNITE Scotland deputy regional secretary, Linda Hamill, a UCS work-in veteran, and Bob MacGregor, the UNITE Scotland officer who led on the BiFab occupation of 2017. 

Further details here including where to sign up to are here: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/we-are-not-rats-ucs-to-bifab-and-beyond-the-struggle-for-decent-work-tickets-147528883863 

7th April 2021

Call for Abstracts for the 2021 RDW Conference

The Virtual Conference is on the theme COVID-19 and the world of work: Towards a human-centred recovery from 6-9 July 2021.

The Conference is organized by the International Labour Office (ILO) in collaboration with:

  • Amsterdam Institute for Labour Studies / Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (AIAS-HSI) – University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law (CELRL) – University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Centre for Informal Sector and Labor Studies (CISLS) – Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  • Durham Law School (DLS) – University of Durham, UK
  • Institut für Arbeit und Qualifikation (IAQ) – University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) – Brasilia, Brazil
  • Korea Labor Institute (KLI) – Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Work and Equalities Institute (WEI) – University of Manchester, UK

 

To access the Call for Abstracts and for further details please visit the conference website at: https://www.ilo.org/rdw2021

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 April 2021.

We hope you will participate this year in the RDW Conference!

7th April 2021

Ed Heery BUIRA Special Webinar on May 19th 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Reflections by Ed Heery - 40 Years as an Industrial Relationist

Sign up here

This Special BUIRA Webinar welcomes Professor Emeritus Edmund Heery, who will discuss his reflections of 40 years as an 'Industrial Relationist'.

Edmund Heery is Professor Emeritus of Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School

Ed proposes to cover three topics:

1. Review his own work and identify the main themes within it focusing on the work he has done on a) pay, b) unions, c) new actors, d) reviewing the field.

2. Reflect on changes in the field that he has encountered in his 40 years as an Industrial Relationist.

3. Some speculation on current developments in the real world of IR: a) neo-paternalism amongst employers, b) the resilience of the labour movement and its imperviousness to arguments about renewal, c) the possible emergence of a more active state - identifying where we are seeing this and what form it takes.

Prof. Edmund Heery - Biography

Edmund Heery is Professor Emeritus at Cardiff Business School, where he worked for 25 years before retiring in December 2020. Ed began his career at North East London Polytechnic (now UEL) in 1980, working as a researcher on payment systems in the coalmining industry, led by Christine Edwards. Subsequently, we worked at the LSE, City University, Imperial College, and Kingston University before joining Cardiff in 1995. Over a long career Ed Heery has researched a variety of issues within UK industrial relations and published widely. He is the author of three monographs, Management Control and Union Power: A Study of Labour Relations in Coalmining (with Christine Edwards), Working for the Union: British Trade Union Officers (with John Kelly), and Framing Work: Unitary, Pluralist and Critical Perspectives in the 21st Century. A fourth monograph, The Real Living Wage: Civil Regulation and the Employment Relationship (with Deborah Hann and David Nash) will be published shortly by Oxford University Press. Ed continues to be an active researcher, despite retirement, and this latest book will present the findings of an extended case study of the UK’s Living Wage campaign.

New BUIRA members welcome! https://www.buira.org/membership

7th April 2021

Tackling contemporary research challenges in uncertain times: Conducting remote research

The Work and Equalities Institute invite you to their upcoming PGR seminar "Conducting remote research" which will be held on 9th April from 1pm to 2:30 pm. Questions that will be asked are: ‘How to build rapport without being physically present?’ ‘How to deal with access when interviewing remotely?’ The session will discuss inclusive approaches to remote research during the pandemic led by Professor Lee-Ann Fenge (University of Bournemouth) who will discuss inclusive approaches to research and Dr Alberta Giorgi (University of Bergamo) who will suggest alternative digital approaches in times of remote research. The spaks will highlight how to conduct participative and co-productive methods with vulnerable groups during the crisis and choose the appropriate qualitative methods. Event Registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/conducting-remote-research-pgr-work-equalities-institute-tickets-147143400873

30th March 2021

Manchester Industrial Relations Society meeting 6 May 2021 - The Shrewsbury pickets and the struggle for justice, 1972-2021

We are holding a Manchester Industrial Relations Society meeting on 6 May. On Tuesday 23 March, the Court of Appeal overturned the criminal convictions of the Shrewsbury 24, a group of trade unionists in the construction industry who were convicted and in some cases imprisoned on charges of unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate, and affray following the 1972 national building workers strike. A 47 year campaign for justice has resulted in the judgements being overturned, and on 6 May MIRS will be holding a meeting to mark this historic result. Ralph Darlington, Professor Emeritus in Employment Relations, University of Salford (and the author of a chapter on the 1972 building workers strike in his co-authored book with Dave Lyddon, Glorious Summer), Eileen Turnbull (the researcher for the Shrewsbury 24 campaign who discovered all of the crucial evidence that saw the convictions overturned), and Terry Renshaw (one of the 24 pickets, who was convicted of unlawful assembly in 1973) will be speaking at the event. The meeting will be held over Zoom at 6pm-7.30pm on 6 May – the link is available on booking through the following Eventbrite link.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-shrewsbury-pickets-and-the-struggle-for-justice-1972-2021-tickets-148566577633

30th March 2021

365 days of working from home. Ground-breaking survey of over 3000 workers reveals their experiences of working from home and hopes and fears for the future.

To mark a year since millions of workers began to leave the workplace and work remotely from home. The STUC is releasing preliminary findings of the Covid-19 and Working from Home Survey undertaken by Professors Phil Taylor, Dora Scholarios (University of Strathclyde) and Professor Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester). 

Read the report here http://www.stuc.org.uk/files/Policy/Research-papers/WFH_Preliminary%20Findings.pdf 

The survey reveals a very mixed picture, with winners and losers over the past year.  There are widely differing views about more permanent working from home (WFH) arrangements post-pandemic.   The majority of the respondents were those who normally worked in office environments.  Respondents were from Telecoms (24%), Local Government (18%), Financial Services (15%) and Civil Service (15%). Nearly all were unions members (thus likely to generally experience better protected environments).  This suggests that negative experiences and worries might be higher among the entire cohort currently WFH.

Responding to the survey findings STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:

“This work reflects what we have been hearing from unions across Scotland.  The experiences of working from home and attitudes toward future home working are very varied. Significant numbers of workers have experienced work intensification and stress over the past year, yet for many others the overall experience has been positive. 

“Foyer warned against blanket changes to work arrangements or sweeping office closures

“A key conclusion is that many workers are positive about some degree of future home working, but this must be optional, flexible and only undertaken through negotiation.  Millions of workers were not initially employed to work from home and have a right to resist imposed changes. There has never been a more important time for these workers to join a union.”

Professor Phil Taylor said:

“There is a majority preference from workers of wanting to spend two days or less in the workplace. However, a ‘blanket’ approach is inappropriate.

“There is also compelling evidence that WFH is not desirable for a significant minority. The reasons are many and complex, but include inadequate domestic workstation arrangements, space constraints, compromised work-life balance, gendered experiences of domestic and household burdens and loneliness and isolation.

“Employers will need to accommodate, and unions to represent, multiple, often contrasting, worker interests and preferences. The development of agile or hybrid arrangements should follow best practice by being fully negotiated with unions.”

Experience of WFH

  • Over a third of respondents felt that their health had worsened as consequence of WFH with just over a quarter reporting the opposite
  • Of those whose health had worsened, the most common reasons were mental health, stress and muscular-physical fatigue.  Respondents were evenly split on whether they could effectively wind down after a day of WFH with 37% reporting problems.
  • Some evidence from the survey suggests WFH is more likely to induce workers to work when ill, compared to in the workplace, with 49% reporting they were more likely to do so.
  • Though the large majority (90%) reported that their employer had paid for necessary IT hardware, one in ten were required to purchase it themselves.  Only one in ten received any assistance from the employer with wi-fi costs.
  • Around one in three workers reported that they were unable to complete work tasks during their normal working hours with a similar proportion having to work additional hours to meet KPIs. 

 

Attitudes towards post-pandemic WFH

  • A significant proportion of respondents hoped to not to return to full-time WFH.  31% indicated a preference for 0 days in the office rising to 78% stating a preference for working in the office 2 days or less. Only 9% expressed a preference for 4-5 days in the office.
  • Of those desiring some level of return to the workplace, a large number of workers (83%) miss social interaction in the workplace, nearly half (45%) want their work and home life to be separate.  Around a third of workers said their WFH workstations were unsuitable.
  • Of those desiring some of level of WFH, 86% report as a reason, not having the hassle of travelling to work; 75% not having the expense of travelling to work; 71% that it gives more flexibility and 69% that it is safer. 

 

Contract and job security fears

  • Nearly half of respondents (45%) expressed worries about employers seeking to change to their contracts with a similar proportion worried about their job security
  • 38% worried about potential reductions in pay and 25% worried about reductions in working hours.
  • Almost all respondents felt emphasised that future change to patterns of work should be optional and wanted their union to negotiate to ensure that arrangements are shaped in members’ interests and reflect their preferences. 
  • Finally, respondents expressed the view that their unions needed to be vigilant to prevent employers from exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to make redundancies, to reduce pay, to impose inferior conditions or contracts or to increase working times. 

30th March 2021

New Book - Work and Labor Relations in the Construction Industry: An International Perspective

Work and Labor Relations in the Construction Industry:

An International Perspective
 
Edited by Dale Belman, Janet Druker and Geoffrey White
 
ISBN 9781138364783
Published February 17, 2021 by Routledge
296 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
 
Format
 Hardback
 VitalSource eBook
 
Book Description
 
Work and Labor Relations in Construction aims to share understanding of best practice in the industries associated with construction and related activities, recognizing that effective work organization and good standards of employee relations will vary from one location to another. It acknowledges the real difficulties encountered by workers in parts of the developing world and the quest for improvement and awareness of some of the worst hazards and current practices. This book is both critical and analytical in approach and seeks to alert readers to the need for change. Aimed at addressing practical issues within the construction industry from a theoretical and empirical standpoint, it will be of value to those interested in the built environment, employment relations and human resource management.
 
Table of Contents
 
Chapter 1. Introduction
Janet Druker, Geoffrey White and Dale Belman
Chapter 2. Social Dialogue in the Argentinian Construction Industry
Hernán Ruggirello and Janet Druker.
Chapter 3. Evolving Employment Relations in the Australian Construction Industry
Alex Veen and Susan McGrath-Champ
Chapter 4. The Brazilian Construction Industry: Informality and qualification in question
Marcella Piccoli and Carlos Diehl
Chapter 5. The German Construction Industry at the Crossroads
Gerhard Syben and Christian Beck
Chapter 6. Formality and Informality in sub-Saharan Africa and the Ghanaian construction industry
Divine Kwaku Ahadzie, Yaw Debrah and George Ofori
Chapter 7. Labor Management in the Lebanese Construction Industry
Samar Kleib, Fida Afiouni and Issam Srour
Chapter 8. The Russian Construction Sector: Informality, labor mobility and socialist legacies
Ekaterina Serezhkina, Claudio Morrison and Olga Cretu.
Chapter 9. Sustaining ‘high road’ Employment Relations in the Swedish and Danish Construction Industries. Jens Arnholtz and Christian Lyhne Ibsen
Chapter 10. Self-employment and Labor Relations in the UK Construction Industry
Janet Druker and Geoffrey White
Chapter 11. Creating a Sustainable Industry and Workforce in the U.S. Construction Industry
Dale Belman and Russell Ormiston
Chapter 12. Conclusions
Geoffrey White, Janet Druker and Dale Belman
Editor(s)
 
Dale Belman is a Professor in the School of Human Resources & Labor Relations at Michigan State University, USA.
Janet Druker is Emeritus Professor in the Business School at the University of Westminster London, UK.
Geoffrey White is Emeritus Professor of Human Resource Management in the Business Faculty at the University of Greenwich, UK.

30th March 2021

Central London BUIRA seminar: Higher education, marketisation, REF/TEF & employment relations

CENTRAL LONDON BUIRA SEMINAR

 

Higher education, marketisation, REF/TEF & employment relations

Prof Dorothy Bishop (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford) on REF and TEF: Whose interests do they serve?

Dr Olga Kuznetsova (Manchester Metropolitan University) on Employee Relations in Marketising Universities: a case study

 

Thursday 15th April 2021, 16.30am – 18.00pm virtual Zoom seminar

 

For further details and to reserve a place, contact Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk), who will send you a link before the seminar

 

This virtual London BUIRA seminar is focused on changes in higher education and their implications for employment relations and we are fortunate to have two expert speakers. The seminar begins with considerations by Dorothy Bishop of the history of how the Research Excellence Framework and Teaching Excellence Frameworks came into being, the rationale for their development and their subsequent evolution into their current forms. Public accountability and transparency in the allocation of funds was the stated motivation for developing the REF, but it has since taken over other roles, and now is used as a management tool. The stated reason for needing a Teaching Excellence Framework was to force universities to take teaching more seriously, and to provide information for prospective students. In practice, both REF and TEF have had unintended consequences, and in both cases, there are reasons to question the validity of the processes used to allocate rankings.

 

Dorothy will be followed by Olga Kuznetsova who will speak about her research with Prof Andrei Kuznetsov, published as: ‘And then there were none: what a UCU Archive tells us about employee relations in marketising universities’ in Studies in Higher Education. The study engages evidence from a University and College Union branch archive to explore developments in employee relations (ER) that reflect the organisation-level effects of marketisation of UK universities. The evidence exposes points of strain in ER at a level of professional divide between managers and academics, and helps to understand their root. It also reveals new ethical challenges (some of which are connected to the demands and constraints put by REF and TEF) faced by the academic profession and individual academics. Some recent reflections will be drawn on the meaning of 'distant' and 'distance' in management.

 

Dorothy Bishop, FRS, FBA, FMed Sci is a member of the executive committee of the Council for Defence of British Universities, which she joined after becoming concerned about the way in which the REF was distorting academic life in the UK. With the advent of TEF in 2018 her concerns multiplied, with evidence that the statistical framework behind the evaluation was deeply flawed – concerns which have since been amplified by the Royal Statistical Society. She has blogged about these issues: relevant posts can be found by Googling 'Bishopblog catalogue'. She also discusses academic life on Twitter, as @deevybee. 

 

Dr Olga Kuznetsova is Reader in Comparative Business Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

 

The seminar is an opportunity to air and discuss these issues in an open forum and consider their implications for industrial relations. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. 

 

 

30th March 2021

Vacancy: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations and HRM at Sheffield University

Sheffield University Management School (SUMS) has advertised a vacancy for a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations and HRM. The post is attached to SUMS' Centre for Decent Work. The closing date is 15th April. 
 
For informal enquiries, please contact Jason Heyes: j.heyes@sheffield.ac.uk
 
Further information can be found at: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CES633/lecturer-senior-lecturer-in-employment-relations-and-human-resource-management

23rd March 2021

Reminder: BUIRA History of Industrial Relations Study Group - 17.00-18.45 Thursday 25 March 2021

BUIRA History of Industrial Relations Study Group

 

Working Mothers: 150 Years of Unpaid Care Work and Paid Employment

 

17.00-18.45 Thursday 25 March 2021 (through Zoom)

 

A McKinsey Report (2020) recently concluded that women’s jobs were globally more at risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic than men’s, first because women are more likely to act as unpaid carers than men, and second because women work disproportionately in those sectors most vulnerable to decline (such as retail, hotels and catering).

 

This seminar examines the division commonly made between unpaid care work and paid employment in historical and global perspective, particularly in the light of the pandemic, and its implications for equality at work. It also investigates the perception of unpaid care work as lacking value and esteem.

 

For further details or to reserve a place, please e-mail Michael Gold (m.gold@rhul.ac.uk) or Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk). We’ll send the Zoom link a few days before the seminar to those who have reserved a place.
 
Programme:
17.00-17.15: Welcome and introduction: Michael Gold and Linda Clarke (Chairs)
 

17.15 – 17.45: Helen McCarthy

Gender, Maternalism and Intellectual Biography: Beatrice Webb and Women’s Work, c. 1880s – 1919

This paper focuses on the thought of Beatrice Webb (1858-1943) and how it related to the life she led as the daughter of an upper-class industrialist who moved through the worlds of philanthropy, social investigation and socialist agitation between the 1880s and the end of the First World War. The paper suggests the value of adopting a biographical lens for understanding how beliefs about gender and the family become embedded in labour markets and social policies. Drawing together the genres of feminist life-writing and intellectual biography, it explores the formation of such beliefs at the level of the individual, from the psychic processes shaping Webb’s interior self to the political and intellectual cultures through which she made her public mark.

 

17.45 – 18.15: Eileen Boris

‘Indispensable to All Working Women and to Mothers in the Home’: Global Labour Standards and the Care Work Economy, 1919-2021

‘Indispensable to All Working Women and to Mothers in the Home’: that is how the French organizer of garment outworkers Jeanne Bouvier characterized a proposal for an eight-hour day, forty-eight-hour week which a century ago became Convention No.1 of the newly formed International Labour Organization (ILO). In differentiating ‘mother in the home’ from ‘all working women,’ she reinforced the separation of mother work (care) from the world of employment that has haunted the formulation of global labour standards. Until the 2000s, paid care work mostly stood outside of ILO deliberations, while unpaid family care was seen predominantly as a special kind of activity, one performed out of love or duty. Whether the new care work economy, especially during COVID times, touted by the ILO as central for gender equality, merely relabels the old inequalities will depend on the struggles waged in its name.

 

18.15 – 18.45: Discussion

18.45: Close

 

*****

Our speakers:

 

Eileen Boris: Hull Professor of Feminist Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara). Most recent book: Making the Woman Worker. Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019 (Oxford University Press, 2019).

 

Helen McCarthy: Reader in Modern and Contemporary British History (University of Cambridge). Most recent book: Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood (Bloomsbury, 2020).

 

Reference:

McKinsey Global Institute (2020) Covid-19 and Gender Equality: Countering the Regressive Effects, 15 July. Available at:

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/covid-19-and-gender-equality-countering-the-regressive-effects#

23rd March 2021

New book: Blissett, E. (2021) The Two-Hundred-Million Pound Strike: The 2003 British Airways Walkout. Bern and Oxford, Peter Lang.

Blissett, E. (2021) The Two-Hundred-Million Pound Strike: The 2003 British Airways Walkout. Bern and Oxford, Peter Lang.

 

Book synopsis:  The Two-Hundred-Million pound Strike: The 2003 British Airways Walkout describes and analyses the 2003, British Airways, Customer Service Agents (CSA), 24-hour unofficial strike. It examines the lead up to the dispute, in which negotiations failed to reach an agreement over the launch of BA’s Automatic Time Recording and Integrated Airport Resource Management systems, before focusing on the dispute itself and its eventual resolution.

Central to the book is the question: why did a group of union members, the majority of whom were young women, become so incensed at an imposed change to their working practices that they took unofficial strike action? This they did in the knowledge that they could all have been, legally, dismissed.

In analysing the strike, the book explores why BA’s management imposed such a controversial change to working practices on the company’s busiest weekend of the year. A decision which, allegedly, cost the company over £200,000,000, tarnished its reputation, and saw numerous senior managers lose their jobs.

How and why the CSAs three trade unions (the GMB Union, the Transport and General Workers Union and Amicus) reacted in such different ways to the unofficial strike, and then behaved so differently in the subsequent negotiations, is also central to this study.

 

Ed Blissett (PhD) is Senior Research Fellow in Employment Relations at the University of Hertfordshire. Prior to taking up this post Ed was, for over 20 years, a lay activist and then a senior Regional and National officer for three of Britain’s largest trade unions. His roles included six years as the Regional and National Officer for British Airways (BA) and then four years as Regional Secretary of the GMB London Region. These positions saw him play a central part in local and national union negotiations with BA, which granted him extensive first-hand knowledge of the 2003 strike and all the negotiations that preceded and followed the unofficial walkout. His background as a senior union officer at BA also assisted him in gaining unprecedented access to the unions lay reps, full-time officers and the airline’s managers, who played central roles in the 2003 strike and the ensuing negotiations.

23rd March 2021

International Labour and Logistics Research Network seminar series

The Impact of New Technologies on Warehouse Work and Beyond: Thursday 1st April at 17.00pm

Lisa Kresge (Researcher, UC Berkeley Labor Center)

Liz Blackshaw, Director of Global Campaigns, ITF

Craig Gent (Novara Media)

Kirsty Newsome (Professor of Employment Relations, University of Sheffield)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-impact-of-new-technologies-on-warehouse-work-and-warehouse-workers-tickets-141947892969

 

Contemporary Labour Issues in the Global Maritime Industry: Thursday 15th April at 17.00pm

Book talk: "Capitalism and the Sea" (Verso 2020)

Liam Campling (Professor of International Business and Development, Queen Mary University)

Alejandro Colas (Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics, Birkbeck)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/contemporary-labour-issues-in-the-global-maritime-industry-tickets-141948368391


If you would like to share and receive information on upcoming events, new publications and research projects, relevant news reports and worker organising in the logistics sector, please join our listserv through google groups or by emailing katy.fox-hodess@sheffield.ac.uk.

23rd March 2021

Project: experience of mothers working in any area of Higher Education during the Covid-19 pandemic

Durham University have received funding to undertake a project looking at the experience of mothers working in any area of Higher Education during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Colleagues are from different academic departments and professional support services teams at Durham University who are part of the Mothers and Mothers-to-be Support (MAMS) Network. 

 

The brief is: 

The research will help to understand how all mothers working in HE with children aged 18 or under at home have experienced the pandemic, and the impact it has had on their health, wellbeing, and career. We are also looking at intersectional factors, such as ethnicity and disability, which put many women at a significant additional disadvantage. Our results will be used to try to influence policies at universities that address the institutionalised inequalities which the pandemic has magnified.  

  

The UK-wide survey is open until Wednesday 24 March 2021. The short timeline is short due to funding constraints, and we can use all the help we can get to reach mothers in HE across the UK. Our survey only takes around ten minutes to complete. Here is the link: https://durham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid19 

23rd March 2021

New Book - "Justice sociale et juges" edited by Carole Nivard

New Book  - mostly in French "Justice sociale et juges"  edited by Carole Nivard ISBN 978-2-37032-301-9
The book covers the position in several European countries such as Greece, Portugual, Romania and Britain. 

23rd March 2021

365 days of working from home. Ground-breaking survey of over 3000 workers reveals their experiences of working from home and hopes and fears for the future.

To mark a year since millions of workers began to leave the workplace and work remotely from home. The STUC is releasing preliminary findings of the Covid-19 and Working from Home Survey undertaken by Professors Phil Taylor, Dora Scholarios (University of Strathclyde) and Professor Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester).

 

Read the report here http://www.stuc.org.uk/files/Policy/Research-papers/WFH_Preliminary%20Findings.pdf

 

The survey reveals a very mixed picture, with winners and losers over the past year.  There are widely differing views about more permanent working from home (WFH) arrangements post-pandemic.   The majority of the respondents were those who normally worked in office environments.  Respondents were from Telecoms (24%), Local Government (18%), Financial Services (15%) and Civil Service (15%). Nearly all were unions members (thus likely to generally experience better protected environments).  This suggests that negative experiences and worries might be higher among the entire cohort currently WFH.

 

Responding to the survey findings STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:

“This work reflects what we have been hearing from unions across Scotland.  The experiences of working from home and attitudes toward future home working are very varied. Significant numbers of workers have experienced work intensification and stress over the past year, yet for many others the overall experience has been positive. 

“Foyer warned against blanket changes to work arrangements or sweeping office closures

“A key conclusion is that many workers are positive about some degree of future home working, but this must be optional, flexible and only undertaken through negotiation.  Millions of workers were not initially employed to work from home and have a right to resist imposed changes. There has never been a more important time for these workers to join a union.”

 

Professor Phil Taylor said:

“There is a majority preference from workers of wanting to spend two days or less in the workplace. However, a ‘blanket’ approach is inappropriate.

“There is also compelling evidence that WFH is not desirable for a significant minority. The reasons are many and complex, but include inadequate domestic workstation arrangements, space constraints, compromised work-life balance, gendered experiences of domestic and household burdens and loneliness and isolation.

“Employers will need to accommodate, and unions to represent, multiple, often contrasting, worker interests and preferences. The development of agile or hybrid arrangements should follow best practice by being fully negotiated with unions.”

 

Experience of WFH

  • * Over a third of respondents felt that their health had worsened as consequence of WFH with just over a quarter reporting the opposite • Of those whose health had worsened, the most common reasons were mental health, stress and muscular-physical fatigue. Respondents were evenly split on whether they could effectively wind down after a day of WFH with 37% reporting problems.
  • * Some evidence from the survey suggests WFH is more likely to induce workers to work when ill, compared to in the workplace, with 49% reporting they were more likely to do so.
  • * Though the large majority (90%) reported that their employer had paid for necessary IT hardware, one in ten were required to purchase it themselves.  Only one in ten received any assistance from the employer with wi-fi costs.
    • * Around one in three workers reported that they were unable to complete work tasks during their normal working hours with a similar proportion having to work additional hours to meet KPIs.

 

Attitudes towards post-pandemic WFH

  • * A significant proportion of respondents hoped to not to return to full-time WFH.  31% indicated a preference for 0 days in the office rising to 78% stating a preference for working in the office 2 days or less. Only 9% expressed a preference for 4-5 days in the office.
  • * Of those desiring some level of return to the workplace, a large number of workers (83%) miss social interaction in the workplace, nearly half (45%) want their work and home life to be separate.  Around a third of workers said their WFH workstations were unsuitable.
  • * Of those desiring some of level of WFH, 86% report as a reason, not having the hassle of travelling to work; 75% not having the expense of travelling to work; 71% that it gives more flexibility and 69% that it is safer.
  • Contract and job security fears
  • * Nearly half of respondents (45%) expressed worries about employers seeking to change to their contracts with a similar proportion worried about their job security • 38% worried about potential reductions in pay and 25% worried about reductions in working hours.
  • * Almost all respondents felt emphasised that future change to patterns of work should be optional and wanted their union to negotiate to ensure that arrangements are shaped in members’ interests and reflect their preferences.
  • * Finally, respondents expressed the view that their unions needed to be vigilant to prevent employers from exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to make redundancies, to reduce pay, to impose inferior conditions or contracts or to increase working times.

 

23rd March 2021

FREE events run by the Ella Baker School of Organising

Reflections on Organising No.7
Start: Wednesday, March 17, 2021  7:00 PM (2hrs)  Greenwich Mean Time

As part of our 'Reflections' series, we are very proud to announce that in March we will be joined by:

Salma Yaqoob, former leader and vice president of the Respect Party, former Birmingham City Councillor, a leading figure in the Stop the War coalition, a community engagement practitioner and occasional spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque.

Taranjit Chana, is a GMB Branch Secretary, BAME officer for London Labour, fromer Labour MEP candidate and passionate about defeating hatred and division wherever it surfaces.

David Braniff-Herbert , is the National Organiser for LGBT and Digital Organising at the National Education Union, a former organiser for HOPE not hate and a movement builder, trainer and speaker.

We will be asking each of these organisers about their experiences in the social justice arena and how we get to 'win', there will then be break out sessions followed by a final Q&A.

This event will take place via video meeting on Zoom. Join us from the comfort of your own home to hear these great organisers reflect on what it takes to win and then get the chance to put your questions to them!

This event is part of the Ella Baker School of Organising's 'Reflections on Organising' series organised in association with: Independent Working Class Education Network, the National Education Union, the University and Colleges Union, and Manchester Trades Union Council

Sign up here - https://actionnetwork.org/events/reflections-on-organising-no7

 

Theory of Change session
Start:
 Sunday, March 21, 2021  11:00 AM (2hrs)  Greenwich Mean Time

 

If we really want to change the world, rather than merely protest at injustice, we need to have a strategic path to winning. This course introduces a number of tools that can help us devise a winning theory of change.

 

Sign up here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/theory-of-change-session-sunday-march-21

 

16th March 2021

UCS work-in fiftieth anniversary meeting at 19:00 on 25 March 2021

UCS work-in fiftieth anniversary meeting at 19:00 on 25 March 2021
 
The Jimmy Reid Foundation (JRF) is organising a further meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971-1972 work-in on the Clyde in which Jimmy Reid played a leading role.
 
It is called 'Leadership and trade union struggles: lessons from Jimmy Reid and the UCS'
 
Please find the link for registering for the meeting:
 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leadership-and-trade-union-struggles-lessons-from-jimmy-reid-and-the-ucs-tickets-142481184057
 
The meeting is supported by UNITE Scotland and the speakers are Professor Alan McKinlay and Dr Bill Knox (biographers of Jimmy Reid), Mary Alexander (UNITE Scotland deputy regional secretary) and Roz Foyer (STUC general secretary and former UNITE organiser).
 
The recording of the previous meeting (on 28 January 2021), entitled 'The UCS work-in: a celebration and commemoration 50 years on' with Professor John Foster, a UCS veteran and two UNITE Scotland organisers can be found at 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJkbd60mnUU&ab_channel=STUCCovid-19updates

16th March 2021

Critical Thinking and the Business School - event on 31 March 2021

Critical Thinking and the Business School. 

 
Hosted by Martin Parker and Pete Turnbull, University of Bristol. 
31st March 2021
 
The business school at the University of Leicester is trying to 'disinvest' from 'critical management studies' and 'political economy' by placing sixteen academics under threat of redundancy and expanding areas of management such as business analytics, leadership and entrepreneurship. Should business schools be engaged in business as usual? Given the climate crisis, systematic inequalities and exclusions, and a crisis of trust in public and private institutions, what should business schools be teaching and researching? This workshop is an attempt to respond to those questions. 
 
The link to register is below, and thanks to Katie and Loren for organizing this! 
 
 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/critical-thinking-and-the-business-school-tickets-144978738309
 
Programme
 
14.00 Welcome from Martin Parker (Bristol)
 
14.05 ‘What’s happening at the University of Leicester School of Management’? Gareth Brown and Simon Lilley (University of Leicester)
 
14.30 ‘Trade unions, business schools and critical thinking’ Jo Grady (UCU General Secretary)
 
14.45 Questions from the audience
 
15.00 Responses (10 mins each)
 
Bill Harley (Melbourne) ‘The responsibilities of academics’
 
Rachel Ashworth (Dean, Cardiff Business School) ‘The public value business school’
 
Pete Turnbull (Bristol) ‘The cash value of the critical’
 
Mike Marinetto (Cardiff) ‘What are academics for?’
 
15.40 Questions from the audience

 

16th March 2021

London BUIRA seminar 15 April 2021: HE, marketisation, REF/TEF and employment relations

CENTRAL LONDON BUIRA SEMINAR: 

Higher education, marketisation, REF/TEF & employment relations

Prof Dorothy Bishop (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford) on REF and TEF: Whose interests do they serve?

Dr Olga Kuznetsova (Manchester Metropolitan University) on Employee Relations in Marketising Universities: a case study 

Thursday 15th April 2021, 16.30am – 18.00pm virtual Zoom seminar 

For further details and to reserve a place, contact Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk), who will send you a link before the seminar

 

This virtual London BUIRA seminar is focused on changes in higher education and their implications for employment relations and we are fortunate to have two expert speakers. The seminar begins with considerations by Dorothy Bishop of the history of how the Research Excellence Framework and Teaching Excellence Frameworks came into being, the rationale for their development and their subsequent evolution into their current forms. Public accountability and transparency in the allocation of funds was the stated motivation for developing the REF, but it has since taken over other roles, and now is used as a management tool. The stated reason for needing a Teaching Excellence Framework was to force universities to take teaching more seriously, and to provide information for prospective students. In practice, both REF and TEF have had unintended consequences, and in both cases, there are reasons to question the validity of the processes used to allocate rankings.

 

Dorothy will be followed by Olga Kuznetsova who will speak about her research with Prof Andrei Kuznetsov, published as: ‘And then there were none: what a UCU Archive tells us about employee relations in marketising universities’ in Studies in Higher Education. The study engages evidence from a University and College Union branch archive to explore developments in employee relations (ER) that reflect the organisation-level effects of marketisation of UK universities. The evidence exposes points of strain in ER at a level of professional divide between managers and academics, and helps to understand their root. It also reveals new ethical challenges (some of which are connected to the demands and constraints put by REF and TEF) faced by the academic profession and individual academics. Some recent reflections will be drawn on the meaning of 'distant' and 'distance' in management.

 

Dorothy Bishop, FRS, FBA, FMed Sci is a member of the executive committee of the Council for Defence of British Universities, which she joined after becoming concerned about the way in which the REF was distorting academic life in the UK. With the advent of TEF in 2018 her concerns multiplied, with evidence that the statistical framework behind the evaluation was deeply flawed – concerns which have since been amplified by the Royal Statistical Society. She has blogged about these issues: relevant posts can be found by Googling 'Bishopblog catalogue'. She also discusses academic life on Twitter, as @deevybee. 

Dr Olga Kuznetsova is Reader in Comparative Business Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

The seminar is an opportunity to air and discuss these issues in an open forum and consider their implications for industrial relations. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

16th March 2021

Home working report commissioned by the Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru

The Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru commissioned a new report on homeworking which updaes the previous report on the same subject published in August 2020.

16th March 2021

Reflections by Ed Heery - 40 Years as an Industrial Relationist

Reflections by Ed Heery - 40 Years as an Industrial Relationist

Wednesday May 19th – 4pm-5.15pm

This Special BUIRA Webinar welcomes Professor Emeritus Edmund Heery, who will discuss his reflections of 40 years as an 'Industrial Relationist'.

Edmund Heery is Professor Emeritus of Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School

Ed proposes to cover three topics:

  1. Review his own work and identify the main themes within it focusing on the work he has done on a) pay, b) unions, c) new actors, d) reviewing the field.
  2. Reflect on changes in the field that he has encountered in his 40 years as an Industrial Relationist.
  3. Some speculation on current developments in the real world of IR: a) neo-paternalism amongst employers, b) the resilience of the labour movement and its imperviousness to arguments about renewal, c) the possible emergence of a more active state - identifying where we are seeing this and what form it takes.

Here is the link to register on Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buira-special-webinar-reflections-40-years-as-an-industrial-relationist-tickets-145713152963

Biography

Edmund Heery is Professor Emeritus at Cardiff Business School, where he worked for 25 years before retiring in December 2020. Ed began his career at North East London Polytechnic (now UEL) in 1980, working as a researcher on payment systems in the coalmining industry, led by Christine Edwards. Subsequently, we worked at the LSE, City University, Imperial College, and Kingston University before joining Cardiff in 1995. Over a long career Ed Heery has researched a variety of issues within UK industrial relations and published widely. He is the author of three monographs, Management Control and Union Power: A Study of Labour Relations in Coalmining (with Christine Edwards), Working for the Union: British Trade Union Officers (with John Kelly), and Framing Work: Unitary, Pluralist and Critical Perspectives in the 21st Century. A fourth monograph, The Real Living Wage: Civil Regulation and the Employment Relationship (with Deborah Hann and David Nash) will be published shortly by Oxford University Press. Ed continues to be an active researcher, despite retirement, and this latest book will present the findings of an extended case study of the UK’s Living Wage campaign.

 

15th March 2021

Universal Basic Income: A concept which time has come?

Universal Basic Income: A concept which time has come?

 

Wednesday 17th March 2021

TIME:  14:00 – 16:30

Register:  for free by 16th March 2pm, here at Eventbrite  (A Zoom link will be sent to you).

 

The pedigree of the Universal Basic Income concept, which means that all citizens receive a basic subsistence level of income irrespective of their personal circumstances (employed or unemployed), is a long one.  Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ (1515) proposed a guaranteed basic income as early as the 16th century while Tom Paine’s ‘Agrarian Justice’ (1797) also envisaged a basic income for all citizens, paid for through a one-time inheritance tax on landowners. A century later the American economist Henry George also called for a similar device to tackle poverty.  The 1960s saw another revival of the concept in the USA and the idea has more recently re-entered mainstream economic debates in the USA and in Europe, particularly concerning its role as a palliative to the potential impact of automation on employment and incomes.  


In this seminar we examine the UBI from the perspectives of those promoting the idea and those who hold a critical position. Professor Guy Standing (SOAS), who recently produced a report on the subject for the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, will promote the policy while Dr Jane Lethbridge (Greenwich) will provide a critique. Professor Heikki Hiilamo (Helsinki) will provide details of her research on Finland’s basic income experiment.  

 

Our Speakers:

Professor Guy Standing: ‘Basic Income: Battling Eight Giants in an Era of Pandemics’.

Professor Heikki Hiilamo: ‘Inside Finland's Basic Income Experiment: What Can We Learn From the Results?’

Associate Professor Jane Lethbridge: 'Can a Universal Basic Income address the problems of precarity?’ 

 

Introducing the speakers:

Professor Guy Standing is  Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London. An economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, he is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts, co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), and member of the Progressive Economy Forum. In 2016-19, he was an adviser to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell. He was professor in SOAS, Bath and Monash Universities, and Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, was Research Director for President Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission, and has implemented several basic income pilots.  

 

Professor Heikki Hiilamo is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

 

Associate Professor Jane Lethbridge is Associate Professor in Public Policy in the Business Faculty, University of Greenwich. She was the Director of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) from 2013-2018 and is now a Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Employment and Work (CREW).  Jane specialises in the analysis of global commercialisation of health and social care and its impact on health and social care workers, social dialogue in health and social care in Europe, the role of government in the professional development of public sector professionals and democratic professionalism.  She has undertaken research for a wide range of trade unions at national and global levels. She wrote Democratic Professionalism in Public Services (Bristol: Policy Press/ Bristol University Press) in 2019.

 

 

This is a free online webinar, open to the public and all are invited, register via Eventbrite.

15th March 2021

Sheffield Business School Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management (2.5 FTE)

College of Business, Tech. & Engineering

Academic

Grade 7 - £34,804 to £39,152 (pro rata) per annum dependent on experience

Sheffield Business School is Britain’s largest modern business school. Over the last few years, the Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management (OB/HRM) subject group has experienced a sustained increase in activity across undergraduate, postgraduate and consultancy activities.

 

We are looking for Lecturers to join our team, contributing to either our CIPD accredited courses or our MBA/Higher Degree Apprenticeship courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as our wider organisational behaviour and HRM portfolio activities.

 

You'll have a broad remit that includes teaching preparation and delivery, leading modules, contributing to dissertation supervision and research and knowledge exchange. You'll also contribute to the development of new and exciting programmes and help to shape the curriculum through your substantial professional experience and your critical, practical and theoretical understanding of organisational behaviour/ human resources management.

 

Experience of delivering high quality learning to students is essential, although this doesn't need to be within higher education. You will have a doctorate or be nearing completion and ideally you will hold an academic qualification in HRM or associated discipline or equivalent professional experience.

 

We welcome teaching experience in all areas of OBHRM. This could include interest in subjects such as Employee Relations, Employee Experience, Diversity and Inclusion, Well-being, International HRM, Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring, Learning and Development, Organisational Development and Design, Talent Management and Performance, Resourcing and Reward and People Analytics.

 

The University may be able to sponsor the employment of international applicants in this role; this will depend on a number of factors specific to the individual applicant.

 

For this job we particularly welcome applications from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) applicants who are underrepresented in this area at Sheffield Hallam.

 

We welcome applications for part-time and flexible working arrangements. The application link is http://bit.ly/37XTPGD.

Contact Person :

Sarah Fidment

Contact Number :

0114 225 3368

Date Advertised :

02-Mar-2021

Closing Date :

18-Apr-2021

Employment Type :

Permanent - Full Time

Location :

City Campus

Job number :

064526

9th March 2021

CERIC Seminar: New Technology and Industrial Relations

New Technology and Industrial Relations presented by Simon Joyce and Mark Stuart (Leeds) 

Wednesday, 17th March, 14:00 - 15:30  

REGISTER HERE

 Abstract 

The central argument of the paper is that contemporary industrial relations research has contributed very little to current debates about how new technology may be reshaping the world of work. Contemporary analysis of technological change tends to be split between economic estimates of the extent of likely job loss and more sociological studies of workers’ experiences of digital work and new forms of contracting. Where industrial relations scholars do look at technological change it tends to be in terms of worker resistance, especially in relation to platform labour, and challenges for unions and collective bargaining. Such research is clearly important, but we would argue that by confining attention to a relatively narrow research agenda industrial relations scholars are limiting the contribution that they can make. Our understanding of the contemporary impact of technology at work is missing the valuable insights that can be uncovered if we return to concerns of more historical industrial relations scholarship. Scanning the field of Industrial Relations over the last forty years or so, the paper offers a revised agenda for how the field can contribute to understanding contemporary dynamics in, at and beyond work. 

Presenters 

Dr Simon Joyce is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change. His main research interest is in processes of change in employment relations: how changes in state policy, political economic conditions, employer strategy, and management systems affect the everyday experience of work, and how responses to those changes from the people affected by them in turn generate resistances and reshaping of management approaches. He is currently researching platform work and the gig economy. 

Professor Mark Stuart is the Founding Director of CERIC, Montague Burton Professor of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, Leeds University Business School Pro Dean for Research. He has  published more than 150 monographs, articles, chapters and reports in the field of employment relations and has attracted more than £10 million of external research income. His current interests focus on Digital innovation and the future of work, and, from 2020, he will co-direct, in collaboration with the University of Sussex, a new research centre Digital Futures at Work (Digit), funded by a £8 million grant from the ESRC. A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Mark is past President of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), past Editor-in-Chief of Work, Employment and Society and past Chair of the International Section of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). He is a sub panel 17 member for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise, and editorial board member for Human Resource Management Journal and Labour and Industry. He has held visiting positions in Australia (Sydney, Monash, Griffith), America (Cornell), Sweden (NIWL) and France (Toulouse). 

  

Please read here about the forthcoming CERIC webinars and watch the recordings of the past events. 

If you would like to join our Mailing List, please email ceric@leeds.ac.uk.

 

9th March 2021

CfP Human Resource Management Journal

Human Resource Management Journal (impact factor:3.816, ranked 1/30 for Industrial Relations & Labor on 2019 Journal Citation Reports) has two current calls for papers which BUIRA members might be interested in. More details about the journal and these calls can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/17488583?tabActivePane=. For regular updates on the journal please follow us on Twitter (@HRMJournal) or on LinkedIn.

Current open calls for papers:

Special Issue - Relevant, rigorous and reflective knowledge creation in HRM through scholar-stakeholder collaborative research
Guest Editors: Marco Guerci, Tony Huzzard, Giovanni Radaelli & Abraham B. (Rami) Shani

Our special issue calls for empirical studies that have employed a collaborative research methodology in the HRM field. Our intention is to provide visibility to empirical applications of academic-practitioner collaborations that contribute to HRM theory and practice in original ways. 

To read the full call for papers, please see here.

Submission Period: 31st March - 30th April 2021

Special Issue -Managing Gender Equity and Equality across Borders: Research, Practice, and Evidence-based Recommendations

Guest Editors: Katharina Bader (Northumbria University, UK),  Lena Knappert (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Mila Lazarova (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Eddy Ng (Bucknell University, USA)

Given the emerging state of the field, this special issue invites papers that generate theoretical insights, empirical findings, and evidence-based recommendations on how organizations can effectively tackle the challenges arising from managing gender equity and equality in and across different country contexts.

To read the call, please see here.

Submission Period: 1-30 May 2021

9th March 2021

Mick Marchington obituary

We are saddened to announce the death of Professor Mick Marchington on the 24 February.  Mick worked for over 25 years at Manchester, initially joining the Manchester School of Management, UMIST, in the 1980s where he was appointed a Professor of Human Resource Management in 1995, and continued in that role at Manchester Business School after the merger with the University of Manchester until his retirement in 2011. For those 25 years he was a leading member of the HRM, Employment Relations and Law (HRMERL) Group and its teaching and research agenda. He published widely on HRM and was one of the key contributors to the development of this subject in the UK, and in particular to the rooting of the subject in a strong critical and social science tradition. With 12 books, over 100 journal articles and 50-plus book chapters to his name, he was best known for his work on employee voice, making a very major contribution to industrial relations and the humanising of HRM. He was a pioneer in stretching and broadening our understanding of involvement and participation at work, rethinking how we approach questions of voice at work during the transformations of recent decades.  He was Editor-in-Chief of HRMJ, and earlier was the Editor of Employee Relations; and editor (with Paul Thompson and Gibson Burrell) for the Palgrave series Critical Studies in Management.  He was a leading academic figure in the CIPD, acting as one of its first Chief Examiners, then Chief Moderator for Standards and eventually appointed as a Companion of the CIPD for his lifetime contributions. He was President of Manchester Industrial Relations Society from 2002-2006. He was a champion and key supporter of his colleagues, especially mentoring and supervising early career researchers and doctoral students, many of whom have gone on to successful academic careers of their own. Mick will be missed as both a colleague and a good friend.

4th March 2021

Challenging Tech 6th May 2021

Thursday 6th May 2021 10am - 5pm Online via Zoom
Call for Participants:
Submissions are now open for the day symposium 'Challenging Tech,' hosted by Cardiff University's Data Justice Lab and Prospect Union. We would welcome submissions for research papers, workshops, reports, or reflections from practice on any of the following subjects:
 
 
  • Unions and technology: challenges and opportunities 
  • Digital organising strategies
  • Current campaigns around technology and digitisation 
  • The digitised workplace
  • Worker data and autonomy
  • Worker solidarity in a digital age
  • Workplace challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Conceptualising the post-COVID workplace.
 
We particularly welcome submissions from under-represented groups in the sector, especially women, members of the LGBTQI+ community, people of colour, migrant workers and neurodiverse people.
 
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 31st March. You will receive notification by Friday 9th April. Please send submissions to: HopkinsC11@cardiff.ac.uk
 
Challenging Tech in Pictures
We also welcome creative submissions for our gallery, including photography, digital art works, design, or posters on the theme of 'Digital Solidarity'.' Please send your submissions to HopkinsC11@cardiff.ac.uk. If you are including a written monograph to introduce your work, please limit it to 400 words. Submissions will then be compiled into a digital booklet which will be distributed to all attendees.
 
Thursday 6th May 2021 
10am - 5pm 
Online via Zoom

2nd March 2021

Harry Pitts Value as Substance, Relation and Struggle Seminar

Birmingham Management Departmental Seminar 18th March at 1.00pm.
 
 
Speaker: Dr Harry Pitts, the University of Bristol School of Management
Title: Value as Substance, Relation and Struggle
 
Abstract: My new book, Value, charts the past, present and future of value within and beyond capitalist society, critically engaging with key concepts from classical and neoclassical political economy. In this talk I will focus on themes from the first, second and fifth chapters of the book.
The first chapter considers theories of value that posit a conserved substance in the commodity itself, typically put there by labour. It blossoms in classical political economy and its focus on the surplus, before reaching its climax in the critique of political economy of Marx, who moved beyond market exchange to confront the classed dynamics of the workplace in determining the production and distribution of value.
 
The second chapter considers the theories of value that situate value not in any thing or activity but rather in the money-mediated relationship between them, using the so-called ‘new reading’ of Marx to demonstrate how the full development of the latter’s value theory breaks with substantialist account of the production of value, stressing instead the sphere of circulation and the moment of monetary exchange in ascribing value to products of labour.
 
The fifth chapter revisits aspects of both the ‘substantialist’ and the ‘relational’ Marx introduced in the first and second chapter, using open Marxism and autonomist Marxism to delve deeper and unfold the historical constitution of value in a set of classed social relations based on the separation of individuals from the independent means to reproduce the conditions of living, and how the dual character of labour as concrete and abstract within the production process itself represents the terrain for class struggle over the form and content of work and value in capitalist society.
 
Speaker: Dr Harry Pitts, the University of Bristol School of Management
Frederick Harry Pitts is a Lecturer in Work, Employment, Organization & Public Policy at University of Bristol School of Management, where he is Theme Champion for Work Futures and leads the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law Research Group for Perspectives on Work. He is co-editor of the Bristol University Press online magazine Futures of Work and author of Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx (Palgrave 2017) and Value (Polity 2020).
 
Email Alex Wood a.wood@bham.ac.uk for meeting link

2nd March 2021

BUIRA IR History seminar Working Mothers 25 March 2021

Working Mothers: 150 Years of Unpaid Care Work and Paid Employment 

17.00-18.45 Thursday 25 March 2021 (through Zoom)

A McKinsey Report (2020) recently concluded that women’s jobs were globally more at risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic than men’s, first because women are more likely to act as unpaid carers than men, and second because women work disproportionately in those sectors most vulnerable to decline (such as retail, hotels and catering).

This seminar examines the division commonly made between unpaid care work and paid employment in historical and global perspective, particularly in the light of the pandemic, and its implications for equality at work. It also investigates the perception of unpaid care work as lacking value and esteem.

 For further details or to reserve a place, please e-mail Michael Gold (m.gold@rhul.ac.uk) or Linda Clarke (clarkel@wmin.ac.uk). We’ll send the Zoom link a few days before the seminar to those who have reserved a place. 

Programme:
17.00-17.15: Welcome and introduction: Michael Gold and Linda Clarke (Chairs)
 17.15 – 17.45: Helen McCarthy

Gender, Maternalism and Intellectual Biography: Beatrice Webb and Women’s Work, c. 1880s – 1919

This paper focuses on the thought of Beatrice Webb (1858-1943) and how it related to the life she led as the daughter of an upper-class industrialist who moved through the worlds of philanthropy, social investigation and socialist agitation between the 1880s and the end of the First World War. The paper suggests the value of adopting a biographical lens for understanding how beliefs about gender and the family become embedded in labour markets and social policies. Drawing together the genres of feminist life-writing and intellectual biography, it explores the formation of such beliefs at the level of the individual, from the psychic processes shaping Webb’s interior self to the political and intellectual cultures through which she made her public mark.

 17.45 – 18.15: Eileen Boris

‘Indispensable to All Working Women and to Mothers in the Home’: Global Labour Standards and the Care Work Economy, 1919-2021

‘Indispensable to All Working Women and to Mothers in the Home’: that is how the French organizer of garment outworkers Jeanne Bouvier characterized a proposal for an eight-hour day, forty-eight-hour week which a century ago became Convention No.1 of the newly formed International Labour Organization (ILO). In differentiating ‘mother in the home’ from ‘all working women,’ she reinforced the separation of mother work (care) from the world of employment that has haunted the formulation of global labour standards. Until the 2000s, paid care work mostly stood outside of ILO deliberations, while unpaid family care was seen predominantly as a special kind of activity, one performed out of love or duty. Whether the new care work economy, especially during COVID times, touted by the ILO as central for gender equality, merely relabels the old inequalities will depend on the struggles waged in its name.

18.15 – 18.45: Discussion

18.45: Close

*****

Our speakers

Eileen Boris: Hull Professor of Feminist Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara). Most recent book: Making the Woman Worker. Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019 (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Helen McCarthy: Reader in Modern and Contemporary British History (University of Cambridge). Most recent book: Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Reference:

McKinsey Global Institute (2020) Covid-19 and Gender Equality: Countering the Regressive Effects, 15 July. Available at:

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/covid-19-and-gender-equality-countering-the-regressive-effects#

 

2nd March 2021

BJIR Books to Review

Dear colleagues
I am looking for reviewers for the following books. If you have specialism in any of these areas and you are willing to write a review - then please get in contact. Please note - it may not be possible to get hard copies of the books due to current circumstances––and I will need to know when you could complete the review.
Best wishes
Jane

Working in the Context of Austerity

Challenges and Struggles

Edited by Donna Baines and Ian Cunningham

Workers and Change in China

Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness

Manfred Elfstrom

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/workers-and-change-in-china/2343B17E63CF3F55FFD4072325D3EF85

Work and Personality Change

What We Do Makes Who We Are

By Ying Wang and Chia-Huei Wu

https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/work-and-personality-change-1

2nd March 2021

HSE and Covid at work: a case of regulatory failure edited by Phil James

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared a global Coronavirus pandemic. From the outset, workplaces were recognised as a major source for the spread of the disease. Yet the UK government downplayed the dangers, with Prime Minister Johnson announcing that workplaces were ‘Covid-secure’ thanks in part to HSE ‘spot-checks’. Yet, throughout this period, the Health and Safety Executive, the agency responsible for securing compliance with health and safety regulations at work, has been notable by its absence.

The analysis contained in this report, partly based on data gathered via Freedom of Information requests, reveals the extent to which the HSE failed in its duties to protect workers, promote relevant health and safety laws and prosecute rule-breaking employers. It also failed to highlight the rights and functions of the 100,000 trade union health and safety representatives and the role they could play in securing compliance with the law and appropriate health and safety practices at work. Instead, tax-payers money was used by the HSE to outsource inspection to private companies to undertake phone call checks to employers.

This is a timely and informed report highlighting the failings of the HSE and the UK’s framework of laws. It concludes with a list of recommendations – the first of which is the need for a major independent inquiry into the future of health and safety in the UK.

No. of copies TU price (each) Others (each)

1-9 £8.00 £30.00

10-24 £6.50 £24.00

25-49 £5.50 £20.00

50-74 £4.50 £16.00

75-99 £3.50 £12.00

100+ £3.00 £9.00

*Please add £1.50 p&p per item (up to a maximum of £15)

(Spec: A5; 52pp: ISBN 978-1-906703-50-9; February 2021)

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23rd February 2021

International Labour and Logistics Research Network and series of webinars

International Labour and Logistics Research Network

The International Labour and Logistics Research Network brings together scholars, researchers, labour activists, and organisers from around the world in order to promote critical research and dialogue on contemporary labour issues facing logistics workers, unions,

and the international labour movement. The International Labour and Logistics Research Network seeks to identify and confront the complex challenges impacting workers in the global logistics industry, while simultaneously producing collaborative research

advancing international workers’ rights, solidarity, worker power, and economic/social justice.

The network is co-ordinated by Dr Katy Fox-Hodess and Professor Kirsty Newsome, Centre for Decent Work, Sheffield University Management School, and Professor Jake Alimahomed-Wilson, California State University Long Beach.

To launch the network a series of webinars are being hosted by the Centre for Decent Work, Sheffield University Management School.

 

Labour Issues Facing Amazon's Global Workforce:  Thursday 4th March at 17.00pm

Book talk with contributors from: "The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy" (Pluto Press 2020)

Jake Wilson (Professor of Sociology, California State University - Long Beach)

Ellen Reese (Professor of Sociology and Chair of Labor Studies, University of California at Riverside)

Amazon Workers International (a cross-border coalition of Amazon workers)

Jörn Boewe (politologist and journalist with “Work in Progress”), Johannes Schulten (doctoral student in Sociology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and journalist with “Work in Progress”)

Francesco S. Massimo (doctoral student in Sociology, Sciences Politiques and founding editor of Jacobin Italia)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/labour-issues-facing-amazons-global-workforce-tickets-141944617171

 

Building Worker Power through Supply Chain Organising: Thursday 18th March at 17.00pm

Peter Olney (Former Director of Organising, International Longshore and Warehouse Union and faculty member at Building Trades Academy, School of Human Resources and Labour Relations, Michigan State University)

Glenn Perusek (Former Director of the AFL-CIO's Center for Strategic Research and faculty member at Building Trades Academy, School of Human Resources and Labour Relations, Michigan State University)

Ben Norman (Researcher, Unite the Union)

Katy Fox-Hodess (Lecturer in Employment Relations, University of Sheffield)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/building-worker-power-through-supply-chain-organising-tickets-141947138713

 

The Impact of New Technologies on Warehouse Work and Beyond: Thursday 1st April at 17.00pm

Lisa Kresge (Researcher, UC Berkeley Labor Center)

Liz Blackshaw, Director of Global Campaigns, ITF

Craig Gent (Novara Media)

Kirsty Newsome (Professor of Employment Relations, University of Sheffield)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-impact-of-new-technologies-on-warehouse-work-and-warehouse-workers-tickets-141947892969

 

Contemporary Labour Issues in the Global Maritime Industry: Thursday 15th April at 17.00pm

Book talk: "Capitalism and the Sea" (Verso 2020)

Liam Campling (Professor of International Business and Development, Queen Mary University)

Alejandro Colas (Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics, Birkbeck)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/contemporary-labour-issues-in-the-global-maritime-industry-tickets-141948368391


If you would like to share and receive information on upcoming events, new publications and research projects, relevant news reports and worker organising in the logistics sector, please join our listserv through google groups or by emailing katy.fox-hodess@sheffield.ac.uk.

23rd February 2021

Online Course: Power, Politics & Influence at Work

Colleagues may be interested in recommending the free on-line course about ‘Power, Politics and Influence at Work’ of interest and relevant to you and your networks (approx. 4 hours of learning per week, for 5 weeks, February 2021). The course has been created by Tony Dundon, Miguel Martínez Lucio, Emma Hughes and Roger Walden, academics and researchers from the universities of Manchester, Limerick and Liverpool. It includes contributions from several academics, activists, interactional agencies such as the ILO, Oxfam, CSOs/NGOs, and trade unions. The short course is globally accessible and geared towards labour and union activists, policy advocates and those interested in employment (in)equalities and debates about the future of work. It is free to anyone and accessible here: Power, Politics & Influence at Work - Online Course - FutureLearn

16th February 2021

Webinar: Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)

This is an invitation to attend a webinar hosted by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) on Tuesday 2 March from 11am-1pm, which may be of interest to some BUIRA colleagues.  

The GLAA (www.gla.gov.uk) regulates labour providers in certain industries including agriculture; investigates labour abuse working across all sectors alongside bodies such as the Minimum Wage enforcement team and operates with other law enforcers to deter and disrupt criminality around forced labour.    

During the pandemic regular GLAA liaison meetings with its licence holders and labour users, and with NGO and worker representative bodies have moved to webinars. These allow for a much large (virtual) attendance.   

The webinar on 2nd March will be discussing a range of issues focusing on labour exploitation. These include working with partners to prevent exploitation in the poultry industry; support given to victims through legitimate employment opportunities, and research undertaken by the University of Nottingham into the impact of the Covid pandemic on Rumanian seasonal workers.  

To register, simply click on the link below – further details and joining instructions will follow in the run up to the webinar. 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4345384714985946124 

16th February 2021

Reflections on organising - Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 7pm-9pm

There are many different approaches to changing the world for the better, and organising involves a vast range of skills. It is unlikely that any individual organiser is an expert in all of these skills, but we can learn from others who have been successful.
 
The Ella Baker School’s reflections on organising series brings together great change makers and asks them to share their insights.
 
On February 17th, we have a great panel, with:
  • Peter Tatchellwho helped organise the UK’s first Gay Pride march in 1972, was a leading member of ‘Outrage’ a non-violent direct action group that challenged politicians who were privately gay, while supporting homophobic legislation in public, and fought the notorious ‘Section 28’ legislation that prohibited teachers from confronting homophobia in the classroom.
  • Hannah Taylor, an interfaith and LGBTQ organiser, whose focus is on building positive, respectful and effective internal cultures within campaigning organisations (something that is far too often overlooked) and is currently working for AKT a charity supporting young homeless LGBTQ people.
  • And Ian Manborde a long-term trade union organiser and educator, who is currently the Equalities organiser for Equity the trade union for the performing arts and other creative workers
We will be using their experiences and insights to begin a discussion about how we can ‘get to win’ a little more often.
Join us (and please do share)
SIGN UP HERE

 

16th February 2021

IRRU Seminar: Using Unitarist, Pluralist, and Radical Frames to Map the Cross-Section Distribution of Employment Relations Across Workplaces

Join the Industrial Relations Research Unit for their seminar series - Spring 2020/21.

Bruce Kaufman will be speaking at our fifth seminar discussing Using Unitarist, Pluralist, and Radical Frames to Map the Cross-Section Distribution of Employment Relations Across Workplaces on Wednesday 24th February 2021, 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT) via Microsoft Teams meeting. 

Please see attached PDF for details of their abstract.

Register your place via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/irru-seminar-with-professor-bruce-kaufman-tickets-140037296323  and you will be sent a confirmation email with the Teams Meeting joining details.

16th February 2021

BUIRA Scotland Study Group

The BUIRA Scotland Study group launched in 2021 and is based at the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The group exists to bring together academics and other stakeholders to promote the academic field of employment relations in Scotland and beyond. The group is interested in pressing employment relations matters in Scotland,  the UK, and internationally. We hold events and meetings each academic year, driven by contemporary issues and member interests. 

For more information about the study group please follow us on Twitter @buirascotland, look out for updates in the BUIRA newsletter or contact stewart.johnstone@strath.ac.uk 

16th February 2021

Work and Equalities Institute webinar: The Value of Human Labour

Date: Friday 26 February 2021

Time: 11:00 – 12:30

Register for attendance details on Eventbrite

This second session continues the interdisciplinary discussion of critical issues confronting human labour under Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on work and working lives. This has ignited an important debate on the value of human labour, which has increased awareness of the criticality of a wide range of jobs, many of which have been traditionally undervalued, both politically and socially.

Conflicting Covid narratives: The value of supermarket work and implications for the future

Abbie Winton is a final year doctoral researcher at the Work and Equalities Institute. Her research explores retail work and sociotechnical change, with a current focus on the crisis and the shaping impact this could have on the future of work within the sector.

Debra Howcroft is Professor of Technology and Organisation at the Work and Equalities Institute and is the Editor of New Technology, Work and Employment’.

Sharing the load: How work sharing can reduce unemployment, improve gender equality, and benefit mental health

Jill Rubery is Professor of Comparative Employment Systems and Director of the Work and Equalities Institute. Her current research interests include inequality in the labour market, digitalisation in the workplace, and the related effects of COVID-19.

Isabel Tavora is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Manchester Alliance Business School and a member of the Work and Equalities Institute. Her research focuses on comparative employment policy, collective bargaining, gender equality and work-family reconciliation. Isabel chairs the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Beyond work intensification – the contradictions and ironies of the changing nature of cleaning work in a context of austerity and organisational change

Jo McBride is a Professor at the University of Durham and has worked on a range of issues related to collectivism at work, the nature of skills and in work poverty, and the role of decent work initiatives.

Miguel Martinez Lucio is a Professor at the Work & Equalities Institute and is the Editor of New Technology, Work and Employment. He has worked on questions of change within work, the transformation of worker representation and the development of regulation and the state.

Job value during COVID-19 pandemic: Recognising migrants as ‘critical’ but neglected workers

Anthony Rafferty is a Professor of Employment Studies at the University of Manchester and a Deputy Director of the Work and Equalities Institute (WEI).

Stefania Marino is a Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies at the University of Manchester. Her research interests are in the field of labour sociology, industrial relations and labour market studies with a specific focus on international comparative analysis. Stefania has worked extensively on the relationship between labour migration and labour market and in particular on trade union representation of migrant workers across countries.

9th February 2021

Video of the memorial symposium for Professor Willy Brown “Striving for a Fairer World”

Video of the memorial symposium for Professor Willy Brown “Striving for a Fairer World”. Featuring: Catherine Barnard; Thomas Kochan; Lord Adair Turner; Sir George Bain and chaired by Professor Russell Lansbury https://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/3416898

9th February 2021

Activist Research: Excellence, Impact and Engagement in Neo-Liberal Business Schools

16 Feb. 2021, 5 - 6pm, Melbourne, Australia Time


You are invited to our webinar with award-winning guest speaker IR Professor Peter Turnbull from the University of Bristol, UK

This event is co-hosted by the International Consortium for Research on Employment and Work (iCREW) and the Department of Management at Monash Business School, jointly with the Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne.

Why is the impact and engagement agenda increasingly important in business schools and other elements of universities? What is the ‘rigor-relevance’ gap in IR/HR and management research? 

Such long-standing controversies are variously attributed to a lack of incentives and the unwillingness – or perhaps the inability – of many academic researchers to ‘translate’ their insights for practitioners.

Register now and join our event hosts Professors Greg Bamber, Helen De Cieri and Peter Gahan along with discussant Professor Susan Ainsworth for this important conversation. Use the link below to Register

https://www.monash.edu/business/events/activist-research-excellence,-impact-and-engagement-in-neo-liberal-business-schools?utm_campaign=CGB_iCREW_webinar_launch_EDM_BUS&utm_source=mcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_content=54203_category_2_CGB_iCREW_webinar_launch_EDM_register_button

9th February 2021

BUIRA statement of solidarity with colleagues at University of Leicester

As an association for Employment Relations and Politics of Work scholars, the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) are issuing this statement of solidarity in support of our colleagues in Political Economy and Critical Management Studies at University of Leicester, who have been brutally threatened with redundancy during a public health pandemic. We express our solidarity not just in support of colleagues who are presently at risk of losing their jobs but also collectively stand in solidarity with Leicester UCU and other unions defending jobs.
 
BUIRA also proudly support the vital importance of pluralist critical research and scholarship in the broad area of Management Studies. Now more than ever, pluralism of critical scholarship is essential for responding to the serious social science challenges facing the world and devising new policy and practice solutions and directions regarding ‘big picture’ issues like the future of work and the climate crisis. Political Economy and Critical Management Studies are a vital part of this endeavour.
 
Rather than being diluted, pluralist critical scholarship in our universities should be supported and extended. Surely the purpose of universities is or should be advancing pluralism of ideas and knowledge, otherwise they are arguably no longer civic universities serving the public good in any real meaningful sense.
 
BUIRA
 
Colleagues at Leicester have also circulated a public letter attached in the link if anyone wishes to sign it who hasn’t already:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6LKASpFkpwidMcqFrNl_dKzI07as4ZbtOQAiuJWpSlWwNIA/viewform

3rd February 2021

Research Associate in Comparative Employment Studies (Decent Work and the City)

The Work and Equalities Institute at the University of Manchester is advertising for a research associate. Please would you circulate the details to anyone you think might be interested.

The Work and Equalities Institute is seeking to employ a Research Associate to join its team on a part-time basis (0.8 FTE) for a total of 24 months (2021 to 2023, start date 1/5/2021) with the possibility of extension. The successful candidate will conduct research on an international project ‘Decent Work and the City’ led by Dr Mathew Johnson. The project will investigate decent work initiatives in six cities (Manchester, Bremen, Buenos Aires, Montreal, New York City, and Seoul). This is a broad and ambitious project with significant opportunities for the appointed researcher to develop their qualitative and quantitative research skills, to work collaboratively with international partners, to contribute to high quality academic outputs, and to gain experience of impact and engagement activities. 

The post is part-time (0.8 FTE) for 24 months (with the possibility of extension), although there will be scope to negotiate flexible work patterns over the course of the project. 

Full details are on the University job site.

2nd February 2021

FINAL ABSTRACT DEADLINE for BUIRA Conference 2021 - Friday 5th Feb

Get your conference abstracts in by the end of Friday 5th Feb.

BUIRA Conference 2021: The past, present and future of industrial relations and the politics of work

Virtual (with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows)

July 13th to 15th 2021

Plenary Speakers:

Judy Wajcman http://www.lse.ac.uk/sociology/people/judy-wajcman

Anne McBride https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/a.mcbride.html

Sian Moore https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-business/sian-moore

Kirsty Newsome https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/kirsty_newsome/index

Jean Jenkins https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/610450-jenkins-jean

The conference will also feature an 'Early Career Researcher Plenary Pannel' and a 'Work in the Real World' Special Session with Ian Allinson (President of the Manchester TUC) and others.

Call for Abstracts 

Due to Covid, the 2021 conference will be a virtual online event, but with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows. A decision regarding on campus activities will be communicated no later than 30 April 2021. Information about plenary speakers and non-paper sessions will be provided once confirmed. 

The 2021 conference will be FREE to BUIRA members. Non-members will only need to pay the £40 BUIRA (£20 for PhD students and associate members) membership fee.

Call for papers 

BUIRA turning 70 last year presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. This was the topic of the postponed 2020 conference, and, if anything, is more salient than ever. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, equality and diversity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.  

Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues. Most notably, what has/will continue to be the implications of Coronavirus for employment relations and the future of work? This was the subject of the BUIRA Special Seminar on November 4th 2020, and an ongoing research issue for BUIRA members. What about the continuing impact of austerity and the 2008 financial crisis in a more financialised world, increasing inequality, as well as economic and social challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and Brexit? What have been the consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown. How is power deployed and distributed at work? How much voice and influence do employees have? Whither economic and industrial democracy at work?

We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:

  •         The implications of Covid for employment relations and futures of work
  •         The implications of Brexit for work and employment relations
  •         Reflections and challenges for Equality and Diversity, and challenging the gender pay gap
  •         The consequences of new technology, digitalisation and the growth of platforms for work and industrial relations
  •         Climate emergency and industrial relations
  •         Comparative and international industrial relations
  •         Political economy of work (e.g. austerity, financialisation, fragmentation, flexibilisation and inequality)
  •         New forms of collective action in the workplace and beyond, and new agents of resistance
  •         The rise of populism/nationalism and industrial relations
  •         Power, politics, voice and influence at work

Abstracts of papers should be submitted here

Abstracts should be a maximum of up to 4000 characters including spaces in length (around 500 words) and cover the following headings:

  •         Brief outline
  •         Methodology
  •         Key findings
  •         References
  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday 5th Febuary 2021.

    All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members. Please note that abstracts previously submitted to the cancelled 2020 BUIRA conference can be ‘rolled-over’ without being refereed a second time (providing there are not major changes – if there are substantial revisions, abstracts should be re-submitted). The BUIRA committee will be in contact shortly with those who were accepted in 2020. If you submitted an abstract and have not heard from us, please contact Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme (g.coderre-lapalme@bham.ac.uk).

2nd February 2021

Abstract Deadline Extended BUIRA Conference 2021

We know this is a very difficult and stressful time for everyone and have therefore extended the BUIRA Conference Deadline until Friday 5th February. Read the call for papers here: http://www.buira.net/admin/conferences/14

27th January 2021

Invitation to submit proposal for British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) stewardship 2022-25

The British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) was established in 1950 and is the preeminent academic association for those researching in the field of industrial relations broadly defined. BUIRA is administered by a team of stewards, who take on the governance and strategic oversight of the association for a period of three years. 

Typically, the Stewards are made up of the BUIRA President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Conference and Events Secretary and Communication Secretary. Recent teams of stewards have based at University of Birmingham (2019-2022), Newcastle University (2016-2019), Leeds University (2013-16), Strathclyde University (2010-13), Manchester Metropolitan University (2007-10), University of West of England (2004-2007), Keele (2001-4) and Warwick (1998-2001). 

The current BUIRA Stewards at the University of Birmingham complete their three-year stewardship term in July 2022. The BUIRA Executive would welcome applications to succeed Birmingham from any UK university with a significant presence of BUIRA members, for the period July 2022- July 2025. New teams of Stewards typically take on their term of office following the appropriate Annual BUIRA conference. 

Written proposals are invited for a new team of BUIRA stewards. Proposals, which should be no longer than 3 pages, should be submitted to the BUIRA Executive, by 30th April 2021: admin@buira.org.

Proposals should contain the following details:

  1. 1) Stewardship structure – The BUIRA tradition has been that Stewards are drawn from a single institution. While this is encouraged, we would consider alternative arrangements. This could include teams of Stewards based at Universities in a similar geographical region or teams made of Stewards where each individual role is based at a different institution. Regardless of the structure, all proposals should detail the candidate(s) institution, including the number of BUIRA members among departmental staff, and any previous experience of organising BUIRA events or other related academic conferences. Where a model of Stewardship is proposed that operates across more than one institution, the proposal should consider how this will be coordinated in practical terms.
  1. 2) Professional profiles – Short academic-professional profiles of the candidates who would fill the officer roles detailed above. Note, additional or different roles can be suggested, if justified. The profiles should be brief and should detail general academic profile, experience and standing, including previous involvement in BUIRA or other academic associations.
  1. 3) The resources that the team can draw on to support the administrative functions of BUIRA, including any dedicated administrative support.
  2. 4) Strategic thinking - Ideas or proposals for expanding BUIRA’s activities and improving its membership should be provided. Key considerations should be given to: how to encourage attendance at and growth of the annual BUIRA conference; how to improve the general associational role of BUIRA in supporting the academic community; developing the BUIRA doctoral network.

 

It is worth noting a number of recent developments. BUIRA dedicates a small annual budget to its doctoral network, which primarily supports an annual doctoral conference. Membership of the doctoral conference has increased significantly over the last 9 years, with plans to grow this further in the years to come. In addition to this, reflections on new income streams to assist the professionalisation of BUIRA would be particularly welcome.

The BUIRA website is currently being redesigned, with a focus on improving the immediate visual impact, increasing its level of interactivity, ensuring ease of access of continual updating and integrating membership databases. This should provide a platform to increase BUIRA external visibility in years to come.

All proposals received by the Executive will be circulated to members at the 2021 BUIRA Annual Meeting, held during the Annual BUIRA Conference (to be held online in July). Each candidate institution will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation at the Annual Meeting in support of their proposed stewardship. The meeting will then vote to decide which candidate institution will assume the stewardship for the following three years.

For further information, please contact Dr Andy Hodder, BUIRA Secretary: a.j.hodder@bham.ac.uk

27th January 2021

Book launch: Power, politics and influence at work Wed, Feb 3, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM GMT

Join the authors - Tony Dundon, Miguel Martinez Lucio, Emma Hughes, Debra Howcroft, Arjan Keizer and Roger Walden - of Power, politics and influence at work to celebrate the launch of their new book.

The event will include a discussion on the book and a Q&A session.

About the book: This book explores how power operates in workplace settings at local, national, and transnational levels. It argues that how people are valued in and out of work is a political dynamic, which reflects and shapes how societies treat their citizens.  There has been growing pressures affecting worker voice due to deregulation, neoliberal economic policies, new technologies and a weakening of the role of the state and national protective institutions. How these pressures have emerged, and what impact they have, are the source of much debate. The book contextualises these developments, while also outlining potential future responses for new voices at work and a greater interest in questions of equality and fairness. The book shows that worker influence is changing and there are new spaces and a more complex set of outcomes and issues that need to be understood.  The authors of the book will discuss these different dimensions at the event and outline the need to realise that outcomes may be more varied and contested.

Link to registration:  Registration (gotowebinar.com)

25th January 2021

AIRAANZ Conference 3-5 February

While the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a myriad of uncertainties, the AIRAANZ (Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand) Conference remains a beacon of certainty. The organizing committee has been working tirelessly to ensure that AIRAANZ 2021 will go ahead. This year the conference will run as an online event from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th February 2021 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

The program is smaller than usual, but nonetheless, reflects the breadth and quality of research in the field of industrial relations in Australia, New Zealand and beyond. There are themed sessions on equality law, workplace domestic violence policy, trade union training, and ‘transformational’ employment relations in New Zealand, as well as longer workshops on ideas and employment relations, and on recent research and emerging issues in care and support work.

Afternoon symposiums will examine a range of issues. Three symposiums explore COVID-related matters, in the context of first, public employment, second, women’s work, and third, labour activism in the pandemic. A fourth symposium will explore wage theft, description, explanations and policy responses to it. AIRAANZ 2021 also includes several sessions in which PHD and Early Career researchers will present papers on their research, followed by Discussants providing feedback and other comment.

You can download the full program here.

We will further maintain some of AIRAANZ's traditions albeit in online format, including our Awards Ceremony (jacket or glitter dress code), book launches, the Annual General Meeting, and, of course, the Presidential Address.

We do hope you will be able to join us and enjoy AIRAANZ 2021. Please note that although the conference is FREE, pre-conference registration is essential to gain access to the sessions.

25th January 2021

Job Opportunity with Fairwork Ghana

We’re looking for  people who are completing or have completed their PhDs, and who are interested in gig economy / future of work / digital economy / work and employment topics.  

The Fairwork Project, based at the University of Oxford, conducts action-research on working conditions in the gig economy. We are recruiting a researcher to work with the Fairwork Ghana team, housed within the University of Ghana Business School. This is a full-time, fixed-term position starting as soon as possible until (at least) June 2022. Reporting to Fairwork Ghana’s Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Richard Boateng, the post-holder will act as a Researcher on the Fairwork project, assessing digital labour platforms against our principles of fair work and pushing for positive change in the Ghanaian gig economy. The Researcher will be a central figure in Fairwork’s upcoming work in Ghana, and will also work closely with its central team based at the University of Oxford. The deadline to apply to this job is January 31st. Further details on how to apply can be found here: https://fair.work/en/fw/blog/open-position-for-a-researcher-to-join-the-new-fairwork-team-in-ghana/#continue

25th January 2021

Willy Brown Memorial Online Symposium Thursday 4 February 2021 at 09.00am-11.30am (GMT)

Please find the below details for the Memorial Symposium in memory of Professor Willy Brown, former Master of Darwin College, on 'Striving for a Fairer World' which will be held as a virtual webinar event on Thursday 4 February 2021 at 09.00am -11.30am (GMT). 

Registration details will be sent out shortly please save the date and email Janet Gibson jg323@cam.ac.uk to recieve the details when available. 

For those who cannot make the event it will be also be recorded and made available online. 

The Memorial Service at Great St Mary's Church will be rescheduled when it becomes possible to do so.  

Online Symposium in memory of Professor William (Willy) Brown CBE MA

“Striving for a Fairer World”

Thursday 4 February 2021, 0900 - 1130 GMT

Welcome: Dr Michael Rands, Master, Darwin College

Introduction: Professor Sir George Bain

Chair/Moderator: Professor Russell Lansbury

Speakers:

Professor Catherine Barnard

Brexit, Migration and Labour Rights

Professor Tom Kochan

Our Generation’s Challenge: Restoring Fairness and Respect at Work through a New Social Contract

Lord Adair Turner

Fairness and Efficiency in the Labour Market

Speaker Bios

Professor Sir George Bain

A Canadian, who after studying economics and politics at the University of Manitoba, pursued his career primarily in the United Kingdom as: a doctoral student and research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford; a professor at UMIST; a professor, director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit, and chairman of the School of Industrial & Business Studies at the University of Warwick; principal of London Business School; and president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast. Although primarily an academic, his interests and activities have extended far beyond the academy as: a mediator and an arbitrator in numerous industrial disputes; a consultant for many public- and private-sector organisations; and a non-executive director of several companies in the United Kingdom and Canada. He has engaged extensively in public service, particularly by chairing commissions and inquiries for governments in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, including being the founding chair of the Low Pay Commission that introduced the National Minimum Wage. He has received several prizes and honours, including twelve honorary doctorates, and was knighted by the Queen.

Professor Catherine Barnard

Catherine Barnard is Professor of EU law and Employment Law and senior tutor and fellow of Trinity College. She is the author of EU Employment Law (Oxford, OUP, 2012, 5th ed.), The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms, (Oxford, OUP, 2019, 6th ed), and (with Peers ed), European Union Law (Oxford, OUP, 2017, 2nd ed). She is a member of the European Commission funded European Labour Law Network (ELLN). She is also a Senior Fellow in the UK in a Changing Europe (http://ukandeu.ac.uk/) project. This is an authoritative, nonpartisan think tank which does research and provides information about all aspects of Brexit, including on employment law matters. She has appeared on the main media channels - BBC, ITV and Sky - as well as some of the more specialist programmes such as Law in Action, Woman's Hour, Question Time and the Briefing Room. She has also written for the Guardian and the Telegraph. She has given evidence to a large number of select committees on the legal issues connected with Brexit, immigration and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act. She has her own podcast, 2903cb, and she blogs on Brexit, mainly for the http://ukandeu.ac.uk/.

Professor Tom Kochan

Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research and the Co-Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Kochan focuses on the need to update America's work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the need for a new social contract at work, one that anticipates and engages current and future technological changes in ways that build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America's critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is entitled, Shaping the Future of Work: A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract (MITx Press, 2018). He is a member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin.

Professor Russell Lansbury

Russell Lansbury is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Sydney Business School where he was Associate Dean (Research). He gained a PhD in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics. He has been a Senior Fulbright Fellow at MIT and Harvard University as well as a Visiting Fellow at the ILO and at the Swedish National Institute for Worklife Research. He is a joint founding editor, with Professor Greg Bamber, of International and Comparative Employment Relations (Sage Books) now in its 7th edition. His latest publications include Contemporary Issues in Work and Organisations: Actors and Institutions (Routledge, 2020) and Crossing Boundaries: Work and Industrial Relations in Perspective (2021). He has received honorary doctorates from the Lulea Technical University in Sweden and Macquarie University in Australia. He is a past President of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA).

Lord Adair Turner

Adair Turner is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission and Chair of Chubb Europe. He is Board Adviser, Shanghai Group Envision Energy. Among his many previous roles, he was Chair of the Low Pay Commission (2002-2006), Chair of the Pensions Commission (2003-2006), Chair of the Financial Services Authority (2008-2013) during the Financial Crisis, and inaugural Chair of the Climate Change Committee (2008-2012). He writes for Project Syndicate and his recent publications include: Economics After the Crisis (MIT, 2012) and Between Debt and the Devil (Princeton, 2012). Lord Turner became a crossbench peer in 2006

22nd January 2021

Deadline for submission of BUIRA abstracts: Friday 29th January 2021.

BUIRA Conference 2021: The past, present and future of industrial relations and the politics of work

Virtual (with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows)

July 13th to 15th 2021

Plenary Speakers:

Judy Wajcman http://www.lse.ac.uk/sociology/people/judy-wajcman

Anne McBride https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/a.mcbride.html

Sian Moore https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-business/sian-moore

Kirsty Newsome https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/kirsty_newsome/index

Jean Jenkins https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/610450-jenkins-jean

The conference will also feature an 'Early Career Researcher Plenary Pannel' and a 'Work in the Real World' Special Session with Ian Allinson (President of the Manchester TUC) and others.

Call for Abstracts 

Due to Covid, the 2021 conference will be a virtual online event, but with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows. A decision regarding on campus activities will be communicated no later than 30 April 2021. Information about plenary speakers and non-paper sessions will be provided once confirmed. 

The 2021 conference will be FREE to BUIRA members. Non-members will only need to pay the £40 BUIRA (£20 for PhD students and associate members) membership fee.

Call for papers 

BUIRA turning 70 last year presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. This was the topic of the postponed 2020 conference, and, if anything, is more salient than ever. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, equality and diversity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.  

Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues. Most notably, what has/will continue to be the implications of Coronavirus for employment relations and the future of work? This was the subject of the BUIRA Special Seminar on November 4th 2020, and an ongoing research issue for BUIRA members. What about the continuing impact of austerity and the 2008 financial crisis in a more financialised world, increasing inequality, as well as economic and social challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and Brexit? What have been the consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown. How is power deployed and distributed at work? How much voice and influence do employees have? Whither economic and industrial democracy at work?

We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:

  •         The implications of Covid for employment relations and futures of work
  •         The implications of Brexit for work and employment relations
  •         Reflections and challenges for Equality and Diversity, and challenging the gender pay gap
  •         The consequences of new technology, digitalisation and the growth of platforms for work and industrial relations
  •         Climate emergency and industrial relations
  •         Comparative and international industrial relations
  •         Political economy of work (e.g. austerity, financialisation, fragmentation, flexibilisation and inequality)
  •         New forms of collective action in the workplace and beyond, and new agents of resistance
  •         The rise of populism/nationalism and industrial relations
  •         Power, politics, voice and influence at work

Abstracts of papers should be submitted here

Abstracts should be a maximum of up to 4000 characters including spaces in length (around 500 words) and cover the following headings:

  •         Brief outline
  •         Methodology
  •         Key findings
  •         References
  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday 29th January 2021.

    All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members. Please note that abstracts previously submitted to the cancelled 2020 BUIRA conference can be ‘rolled-over’ without being refereed a second time (providing there are not major changes – if there are substantial revisions, abstracts should be re-submitted). The BUIRA committee will be in contact shortly with those who were accepted in 2020. If you submitted an abstract and have not heard from us, please contact Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme (g.coderre-lapalme@bham.ac.uk).

     

18th January 2021

BUIRA Membership Survey

Please follow this link for a BUIRA survey that you are invited to complete: https://forms.gle/eCJhu5deaf7myiff6

The aim of the survey is to make sure BUIRA continues to facilitate and support your work and the field of industrial relations in the changed circumstances we find ourselves

18th January 2021

IRRU Seminar: Coordinated vs. Organized Employers: Diverging Service Liberalization Trajectories in Denmark and Sweden

Join the WBS Industrial Relations Research Unit for their seminar series - Spring 2020/21.

Virginia Doellgast, Christian Lyhne Ibsen and Lisa Sezer will be speaking at our fourth seminar discussing Coordinated vs. Organized Employers: Diverging Service Liberalization Trajectories in Denmark and Sweden on Wednesday 20 January 2021, 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT) via Microsoft Teams meeting.

 Abstract:

Employers and their associations have become increasingly important actors

promoting labor, product, service, and financial market liberalization – even

in once highly coordinated European economies. In this paper, we ask how

differences in employer association structures relate to liberalization policies

and outcomes, based on a comparison of the Danish and Swedish telecom

industries. We argue that different representation structures encouraged

telecom firms to adopt distinct approaches to institutionalized cooperation in

the two countries. In Denmark, inter-firm cooperation was based on a more

unstable logic of coordination, with employers often switching between

competing associations to pursue particularistic interests. In contrast,

Swedish telecom employers were compelled to adopt a logic of organization,

via a more centralized association that aggregated diverse company interests.

These logics were associated with distinct trajectories in (mutually

reinforcing) patterns of liberalization in service markets and employment

relations. Danish employers benefited from a market-enabling ‘regulatory

approach’ to telecom liberalization and used threatened exit across

competing agreements to discipline unions. In contrast, telecom liberalization

in Sweden was characterized by a more ‘developmental approach’, giving

employers access to state investments in infrastructure and technology,

while they faced limited exit options from encompassing collective

agreements. Findings contribute to debates on possibilities for alternative,

mutual-gains approaches to collective regulation in liberalizing markets.

Register your place via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/irru-seminar-with-professors-v-doellgast-c-lyhne-ibsen-l-sezer-tickets-136250493895 and you will be sent a confirmation email with the Teams Meeting joining details.

18th January 2021

CERIC webinar: Marketization: How Capitalist Exchange Subverts Democracy and Disciplines the Working Class

Marketization: How Capitalist Exchange Subverts Democracy
and Disciplines the Working Class

 presented by Ian Greer (Cornell) and Charles Umney (Leeds) 

Wednesday, 27th January, 14:00 - 15:30

REGISTER HERE 

In this talk we present a theory of marketization and its effects. By marketization, we mean the creation, extension, and intensification of price-based competition, whether through government initiatives or business decisions. While the empirical effects of marketisation are often immediately evident, various academic traditions understate its importance. For example, comparative institutional theory has tended to focus on delineating areas where marketization is presumed to be unlikely (as in the well-worn distinction between “coordinated” and “liberal” market economies). Polanyians and believers in “Social Europe” have argued that marketization is always likely to be limited or pushed back by social countermovements. Classical Marxist theory has generally emphasised concentration and centralisation of capital rather than the intensification of market competition. But in fact marketization is more prevalent, persistent, and pernicious than these theories may lead us to expect. 

  Certainly, there is plenty of discussion of “the market” as an abstract entity. For instance, advocates of value theory have often presented it as a totalising social force from which there is little escape. For many liberals the market is invoked as a benign organising principle. But these sources often leave no room for a more empirical study of the concrete ways in which price competition is actually engineered in the real world. Who creates markets, through which mechanisms, and with what outcomes? 

 We base our argument on five years of interviews in five European countries and with EU-level administrators, concentrated in healthcare, welfare-to-work services, and the arts. We show how dedicated European states have been in engineering market competition. They have laboriously created new institutions and procedures to instigate and govern competition, persisting in the face of escalating costs and bureaucratic complexity, not to mention various damaging social outcomes. 

  

We argue that marketization initiatives can be understood as a means of class discipline: they have subjected workers to the effects of competition while protecting capital from them. Class discipline is important to capitalist states, and this partially explains why marketisation remains on the agenda despite its evident problems. Moreover, marketization has created new procedures and mechanisms which are insulated from democratic accountability, while also disorganising existing institutions that might limit price competition. Nonetheless, plenty of examples suggest that marketisation remains a dysfunctional and brittle process which can be effectively challenged “from below”. 

Presenters 

Dr Ian Greer is Director of the ILR Ithaca Co-Lab at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. From 2006 to 2011 he was a research fellow in CERIC, and from 2011 to 2016 he was professor of comparative employment relations at the University of Greenwich. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored ‘The Marketization of Employment Services: Dilemmas of Europe’s Work-First Welfare States’, published in 2017 by Oxford University Press.    

 

Dr Charles Umney is an Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations. His research areas focus on international trade unionism and the digitalization of live music labour markets. His recent funded collaborative research includes work on the social protection of ‘platform economy’ workers. Charles is also involved in a large comparative project “The Effects of Marketization in Europe”. 

18th January 2021

BUIRA Conference Plenary Announcement

We are very pleased to announce that 'BUIRA Conference 2021: The past, present and future of industrial relations and the politics of work' will feature plenary contributions from: 

Judy Wajcman http://www.lse.ac.uk/sociology/people/judy-wajcman

Anne McBride https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/a.mcbride.html

Sian Moore https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-business/sian-moore

Kirsty Newsome https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/kirsty_newsome/index

Jean Jenkins https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/610450-jenkins-jean

The conference will also feature an 'Early Career Researcher Plenary Pannel' and a 'Work in the Real World' a Special Session with Ian Allinson (President of the Manchester TUC) and others.

Call for Abstracts 

Due to Covid, the 2021 conference will be a virtual online event, but with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows. A decision regarding on campus activities will be communicated no later than 30 April 2021. Information about plenary speakers and non-paper sessions will be provided once confirmed. 

The 2021 conference will be FREE to BUIRA members. Non-members will only need to pay the £40 BUIRA (£20 for PhD students and associate members) membership fee.

Call for papers 

BUIRA turning 70 last year presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. This was the topic of the postponed 2020 conference, and, if anything, is more salient than ever. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, equality and diversity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.  

Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues. Most notably, what has/will continue to be the implications of Coronavirus for employment relations and the future of work? This was the subject of the BUIRA Special Seminar on November 4th 2020, and an ongoing research issue for BUIRA members. What about the continuing impact of austerity and the 2008 financial crisis in a more financialised world, increasing inequality, as well as economic and social challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and Brexit? What have been the consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown. How is power deployed and distributed at work? How much voice and influence do employees have? Whither economic and industrial democracy at work?

We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:

  •         The implications of Covid for employment relations and futures of work
  •         The implications of Brexit for work and employment relations
  •         Reflections and challenges for Equality and Diversity, and challenging the gender pay gap
  •         The consequences of new technology, digitalisation and the growth of platforms for work and industrial relations
  •         Climate emergency and industrial relations
  •         Comparative and international industrial relations
  •         Political economy of work (e.g. austerity, financialisation, fragmentation, flexibilisation and inequality)
  •         New forms of collective action in the workplace and beyond, and new agents of resistance
  •         The rise of populism/nationalism and industrial relations
  •         Power, politics, voice and influence at work

 

Abstracts of papers should be submitted here

Abstracts should be a maximum of up to 4000 characters including spaces in length (around 500 words) and cover the following headings:

  •         Brief outline
  •         Methodology
  •         Key findings
  •         References
  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday 29th January 2021.

    All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members. Please note that abstracts previously submitted to the cancelled 2020 BUIRA conference can be ‘rolled-over’ without being refereed a second time (providing there are not major changes – if there are substantial revisions, abstracts should be re-submitted). The BUIRA committee will be in contact shortly with those who were accepted in 2020. If you submitted an abstract and have not heard from us, please contact Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme (g.coderre-lapalme@bham.ac.uk).

11th January 2021

Vale Professor Robert H (Bob) Fryer, CBE 1944-2020

It is with great sadness that I heard that Bob Fryer died on 6 December 2020.

Bob was a BUIRA member and spoke well at several BUIRA conferences.

As his family announced in the Guardian: "It is with fondness and pride that we remember him as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He dedicated his working life to education and lifelong learning, having a major and lasting inspirational influence on many. Extremely knowledgeable and perceptive with a penetrating intellect, sharp wit and good humour, he was caring, compassionate and a lifelong socialist who firmly believed in equal opportunities for all."

Attendance at his funeral service was limited during the pandemic, so was mostly his family. However, a few friends were also involved including Lord Tom Sawyer of the Labour Party, formerly of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

Bob graduated from Cambridge University in 1966; in the following year Oxford University awarded him a distinction in its graduate diploma in administration and social studies, when he was much influenced by the late Alan Fox. From 1967 he was a research assistant at Imperial College, London and from 1968 he was a research officer attached to Oxford University, but based in Lancaster. He also taught at Plater College, Oxford, which was the start of his lifelong pleasure of teaching, particularly with people whose previous experience of education had been limited.

In 1969 he moved to Manchester University where he worked with George Bain. In 1971, Bob followed George (long before George was knighted) to Warwick University. Initially, Bob was in the Industrial Relations Research Unit, but in 1973, he moved to the Sociology Department, where his teaching included industrial relations. In 1983 he became the second Principal of the Northern College for Residential Adult Education for 15 years. In 1998 he became Assistant Vice Chancellor at Southampton University where he was responsible for its New College. He was subsequently the founding Vice Chancellor of the National Health Service (NHS) University, which began in 2003. But the government closed it in 2005 and moved its programmes to the Skills for Health organisation. Then Bob moved into the Department of Health as National Director for Widening Participation. The Report that he wrote there was praised in Parliament in 2007 by the then Minister of Health (Andy Burnham).

Lord Blunkett recently wrote “what a phenomenal contribution Bob made to the lives of so many people.  He was a force of nature and had been transformative in so many roles, not least of course in the whole field of adult learning and his commitment to lifelong opportunity.”  

Bob was an inspirational teacher and a brilliant public speaker. His many other roles included membership of the Labour Government's National Advisory Group for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning.  He served on the advisory boards of Investors in People UK, National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, Campaign for Learning UK, as well as Chair of the Learning and Skills Council’s Distributed and Electronic Learning Group. He had a far-reaching impact internationally, as well as in the UK. His contribution to adult and continuing education was recognised in 1999 by the award of a CBE.

Fields of research in which Bob made lasting contributions include redundancy (with Roderick Martin and the late Dorothy Wedderburn) and unions (with Richard Hyman, Steve Williams and others). His most significant research was with NUPE, which was influential in changing the structure and strategies of the union, as well as helping to change the lives its members who were low-paid workers. His research also analysed the emerging dialectic between the union's appointed full-time officials and lay activists, which he termed “sponsored democracy”.[1] Bob had a lasting affection for NUPE; he advised it in the merger discussions with two other unions that led to the creation in 1993 of UNISON, which became the largest UK union.

As Steve Williams wrote in an obit., put it “Bob spent most of his early years in Oxford, where his family were very much 'town' rather than 'gown'.”  His mother, father and brother all worked in different capacities in the motor industry.

Bob had been unwell for a few years and his health deteriorated during 2020. His family were all with him when he died (his last smile was when heard the result of the England v. France rugby match). A few days before he last went into hospital in his beloved NHS, he asked Ann, his darling wife since 1967, to let friends know why he had not been in touch. He was finding it difficult to hit the right key on his phone and was losing his speech.

Ann received many messages with words that were oft repeated including “supportive and generous leader; a powerful commitment to fairness; a true intellect; funny, generous and intelligent…”. He is survived by Ann; three children Kate, Tim and Dominic; and four grandsons. 

—————

[1] Fryer, R. H. & Williams, S., “Latecomers to Trade-Union Democracy: The Emergence, Growth, and Role of Union Stewards in the National Union of Public Employees”, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (2019), 40, (1), 117–152. DOIhttps://doi.org/10.3828/hsir.2019.40.5

17th December 2020

CfP Special Issue Gender, Work & Organization: Old norms in the new normal: Exploring and resisting the rise of the ideal pandemic worker

Guest Editors

Frederike Scholz, Hasselt University, Belgium Liz Oliver, University of Leeds, UK

Jennifer Tomlinson, University of Leeds, UK Robert MacKenzie, Karlstad University, Sweden Jo Ingold, Deakin Business School, Australia

 

Acker’s (1990; 1998) ideal worker concept has captured the intellectual imagination of contributors to Gender Work and Organisation (GWO) for decades (Adkins, 2019; Pocock, 2005; Pullen et al. 2019). The concept has been used to understand how gendered workplaces prioritise and reward certain abilities over others. Under capitalism, this disembodied, ideal worker is an unencumbered male worker, who is able to undertake full-time work, whereas women are assumed to have ‘non-job’ work responsibilities, such as housework and childcare, beyond those associated with the abstract job. The ideal worker concept was later extended to an intersectional analysis though ‘inequality regimes’ to understand gender, race and class as processes of difference and inequality within organisations (Acker, 2006). The concept of inequality regimes has been widely used to understand the creation and recreation of inequalities in organisations and occupations across national contexts (Healy et al. 2011; Wright, 2016).

Similarly the concept of a disembodied worker which rejects certain bodies as ideal workers has also been used to explain the experiences of workers with impairments and the devaluing of their skills and abilities in relation to ableist expectations of working (Foster and Wass, 2013; Scholz and Ingold, 2020). The ideal worker concept informs understanding of the processes of individual divergence from established organisational practices and processes (Acker, 2006). Women and men’s negotiation of flexible working options has been described as an affront to the ideal worker norm (Williams, 2000) since it challenges many of the gendered work expectations that underpin it, similarly disabled peoples’ negotiation of reasonable adjustments has been found to clash with organisational logic.

However what is less well understood is how ideal worker norms interact with larger-scale changes in organisational practices and processes of the sort demanded by Covid-19 crisis management. Could societal events like pandemics open up possibilities for organisational imaginations to evolve? We think that the ideal worker concept, used within wider analytical frames such as inequality regimes, has the potential to expose and challenge the assumptions that inform organisational expectations of workers in response to Covid-19 and other crises, the management of which demand rapid organisation-wide changes.

We think that engagement with the ideal worker within an intersectional frame can generate important knowledge of how sudden large-scale changes to ways of doing work, interact with existing processes of difference and inequality within organisations, across different national contexts, to alter or maintain perceptions, meaning and expectations (the fabric of the ideal worker). Acker (2006:442) argued that such an analysis should be attentive to the intersections of “at least” race/ethnicity, gender, and class; we posit that, particularly in the context of a pandemic, other dimensions of inequality such as disability, age and sexuality should also form part of the analysis. In some workplaces, once hard-fought access to remote access and working, seemingly fell from the sky as organisational logic gave way to the conditions of a pandemic; potentially paving the way to “new normal” remote working in certain sectors. But changed practices do not translate into equality outcomes; remote working is underpinned by an assumption that home spaces are already set up for

individual’s needs and can be converted to a workplace unproblematically. Likewise, for many women, the ‘boundaries’ between the work sphere and private sphere have been suddenly and brutally redrawn. This creates a rise of an ‘ideal pandemic worker’ who is a man, able-bodied, able to do full- time work in the private sphere by delegating their family and other responsibilities to women. This call for multidisciplinary papers encourages scholars to consider the role of feminist concepts of ideal worker and inequality regimes within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and other ongoing global social and economic challenges. We encourage submissions that reflect cultural diversity and experiences across a full range of countries and contexts.

 

Submissions may address questions such as:

  • Are we witnessing an entrenchment, reformulation or rejection of the ideal worker norm? Who is able to conform to the ideal worker, and how have assumptions about presenteeism and availability for work altered through the pandemic?
  • How tenacious are ideal worker norms when organisation-wide working practices are disrupted?
  • When organisations implement wide-spread and sudden changes, how do different workers respond and what are the consequences for (in)equalities within organisations?
  • Is greater use of technology beneficial to organisational practice? How will use of technology shape workplace inclusion and exclusion?
  • Will working from home become the ‘new norm’ or will more traditional workplace practices

resume? How might this vary across occupations and sectors?

  • What is the potential for critical theory, postmodern, poststructuralist, new materialism, decolonizing approaches and feminist theory to advance our understanding of the ideal worker and inequality regimes during this COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Studies or theoretical papers that engage with scientific innovations that are blurring the lines between the public and private sphere of

 

Submissions

Submissions should be made electronically through the Scholar One submission system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/gwo. Please refer to the Author Guidelines at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/14680432/homepage/forauthors.html prior to submission.

 

Please select the ‘Special Issue’ article type on submission and select the relevant Special Issue title

from the dropdown list where prompted.

 

For questions about the submission system please contact the Editorial Office at gwooffice@wiley.com

 

For enquiries about the scope of the Special Issue and article suitability, please contact Frederike Scholz (Frederike.scholz@uhasselt.be), Liz Oliver (e.a.oliver@lubs.leeds.ac.uk) and Jennifer Tomlinson (J.Tomlinson@leeds.ac.uk).

 

Deadline for Submissions: 31 January 2021

 

References

Acker, J. (2006). Inequality regimes: gender, class, and race in organizations. Gender and Society, 20(4), 441-464.

Adkins, L. (2019). Work in the shadow of finance: Rethinking Joan Acker's materialist feminist sociology. Gender, Work & Organization, 26(12), 1776-1785.

Foster, D., & Wass, V. (2013). Disability in the Labour Market: An Exploration of Concepts of the Ideal Worker and Organisational Fit that Disadvantage Employees with Impairments. Sociology, 47(7), 705-721.

Healy, G., Bradley, H., & Forson, C. (2011). Intersectional Sensibilities in Analysing Inequality Regimes in Public Sector Organizations. Gender, Work and Organization, 18(5), 467-487.

Pocock, B. (2005). Work/Care Regimes: Institutions, Culture and Behaviour and the Australian Case.

Gender, Work & Organization, 12(1), 32-49.

Pullen, A, Kerfoot, D, Rodriguez, J, Lewis, P. (2019). Remembering Joan Acker through friendship, sociological thought and activism. Gender, Work & Organization, 26: 1669– 1675.

Scholz, F. & Ingold, J. (2020). Activating the ‘ideal jobseeker’: Experiences of individuals with mental

health conditions on the UK Work Programme. Human Relations.

Williams, J. (2000). Unbending gender: Why family and work conflict and what to do about it. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wright, T. (2016). Women's Experience of Workplace Interactions in Male-Dominated Work: The Intersections of Gender, Sexuality and Occupational Group. Gender, Work & Organization, 23(3), 348-362.

17th December 2020

CREW seminar: Prospects for the labour market in 2021

Wednesday 27th January 2021

TIME:  14:00 – 17:00

Via ZOOM Link  here: https://eu01web.zoom.us/j/64920005093

 

We face growing unemployment from the Corona virus recession combined with further threats to jobs following Brexit. Young people in particular are facing a bleak new year. Women workers from retail to hospitality have lost jobs. Despite Government intervention, jobs have also gone in transport, aviation, financial services and manufacturing.

 

Our speakers will assess the current situation and offer insights into possible developments in 2021. Policy options to  support young workers and women workers through training and investment will be examined. How does the UK avoid the 'scarring' effects of high unemployment?

 

Our Speakers:

Tim Butcher, Chief Economist at the Low Pay Commission: The impact of the pandemic on the labour market and the implications for low-paid workers. Tim will look at how the labour market has coped with the fall-out from the pandemic and what that might mean going forwards.

 

Anjum Klair  and Nikki Pound of the TUC's economics department: ‘The impact of the jobs crisis and how do we prevent mass unemployment?’   Anjum and Nikki will discuss what is happening to young workers, women workers, and the real level of unemployment, together with a discussion of insights into developments of government and trade union policies.

 

Mary-Ann Stephenson from the Women's Budget Group: Covid19 and the crisis in women’s employment.  In this talk Mary-Anne discusses the way in which the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated women’s inequality in the workplace, the links between economic inequality and the gendered division of unpaid work and set out some ideas for a care-led recovery from Covid19.

  

Introducing the speakers:

Tim Butcher - Chief Economist and Deputy-Secretary at the Low Pay Commission. He provides economic and statistical advice to the Commission and is responsible for its research programme.

Ms Anjum Klair - Policy Officer at the TUC on the labour market and social security  

Ms Nikki Pound - Policy and Campaigns Support Officer at the TUC with a focus on the labour market   

Mary-Anne Stephenson, Director, Women's Budget Group - She has previously been Director of the Fawcett Society and a Commissioner on the Women’s National Commission. She is a trustee of the social and economic rights charity Just Fair and of Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre.

 

This is a free online seminar, open to the public and all are invited.

 

 

17th December 2020

PhD scholarship The Centre for Research on Employment and Work

The Centre for Research on Employment and Work currently has a PhD scholarship looking at current challenges facing nurses

The current global pandemic has shed a fresh light on the importance and challenges for healthcare systems and professional staff who work within them. Nurses comprise the largest sector of the health care workforce with this workforce facing key ongoing challenges, including those related to training, recruitment and retention, staff turnover, staff shortages, work intensification and stress, the recruitment and registration/ validation of overseas nurses, discrimination and bullying (The Health Foundation, The King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust, 2018). These problems are not confined to the UK nursing workforce and are common across many countries.

We are seeking a fully-funded PhD student (3 years) to develop and conduct a program of research related to one of current challenges facing the nursing workforce. The project may include cross -national comparisons.

For further information please contact the supervisor: Dr Alexandra Stroleny, A.E.Stroleny@greenwich.ac.uk

About the Project
MPhil/PhD Scholarship
(Ref:) VCS-BUS-03-20
Faculty of Business, Centre for Research on Employment and Work (CREW), Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour Department Greenwich Maritime Campus
https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/the-nursing-profession-contemporary-challenges/?p123696

10th December 2020

BUIRA Conference 2021: The past, present and future of industrial relations and the politics of work

July 13th to 15th 2021

Due to Covid, the 2021 conference will be a virtual online event, but with potential for some hybrid participation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, if public health allows. A decision regarding on campus activities will be communicated no later than 30 April 2021. Information about plenary speakers and non-paper sessions will be provided once confirmed. 

The 2021 conference will be FREE to BUIRA members. Non-members will only need to pay the £40 BUIRA (£20 for PhD students and associate members) membership fee.

Call for papers 

BUIRA turning 70 last year presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. This was the topic of the postponed 2020 conference, and, if anything, is more salient than ever. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, equality and diversity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.  

Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues. Most notably, what has/will continue to be the implications of Coronavirus for employment relations and the future of work? This was the subject of the BUIRA Special Seminar on November 4th 2020, and an ongoing research issue for BUIRA members. What about the continuing impact of austerity and the 2008 financial crisis in a more financialised world, increasing inequality, as well as economic and social challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and Brexit? What have been the consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown. How is power deployed and distributed at work? How much voice and influence do employees have? Whither economic and industrial democracy at work?

We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:

  •         The implications of Covid for employment relations and futures of work
  •         The implications of Brexit for work and employment relations
  •         Reflections and challenges for Equality and Diversity, and challenging the gender pay gap
  •         The consequences of new technology, digitalisation and the growth of platforms for work and industrial relations
  •         Climate emergency and industrial relations
  •         Comparative and international industrial relations
  •         Political economy of work (e.g. austerity, financialisation, fragmentation, flexibilisation and inequality)
  •         New forms of collective action in the workplace and beyond, and new agents of resistance
  •         The rise of populism/nationalism and industrial relations
  •         Power, politics, voice and influence at work

 

Submission details

Abstracts of papers should be submitted here

Abstracts should be a maximum of up to 4000 characters including spaces in length (around 500 words) and cover the following headings:

  •         Brief outline
  •         Methodology
  •         Key findings
  •         References

Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday 29th January 2021.

All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members. Please note that abstracts previously submitted to the cancelled 2020 BUIRA conference can be ‘rolled-over’ without being refereed a second time (providing there are not major changes – if there are substantial revisions, abstracts should be re-submitted). The BUIRA committee will be in contact shortly with those who were accepted in 2020. If you submitted an abstract and have not heard from us, please contact Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme (g.coderre-lapalme@bham.ac.uk).

 

4th December 2020

Launch Event #Legalsupportmatters Whistleblowing with Discrimination at Work

Equality and Employment Law Centre and the Centre for Research in Employment and Work launch their new report on whistleblowers who also experience discrimination at work.
This new research report finds that whistleblowers who also suffer workplace discrimination fare worse at Employment Tribunal, are less likely to have legal representation, more likely to lose their case and experience inequality of arms.
 
The seminar will be live (via MS Teams) on Thursday 3rd December from 6:30pm-7:30pm.
 
This seminar features the below, who will each discuss the background of the report, which will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
Chaired by Chris Topping, Solicitor, Director of Jackson Lees Solicitors and Chair of the Liverpool Law Society Access to Justice Committee
Dr Laura William, University of Greenwich: ”#legalsupportmatters”
Pam Kenworthy, OBE, Equality and Employment Law: ”What happens on the frontline”
Martin Mensa- Barrister, Head of Employment Practice Group, Atlantic Chambers Liverpool: “In the tribunal”
Julie Ehle, CEO, Equality and Environment Law: “Workplace impact”
 

 

26th November 2020

The Work and Equalities Institute webinar: The Value of Human Labour

Date: Monday 7 December 2020
Time: 1pm – 2.30pm.

Register for attendance details on Eventbrite. (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-value-of-human-labour-tickets-128777156943)

This session, the first of two, presents an interdisciplinary discussion of critical issues confronting human labour under Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on work and working lives. This has ignited an important debate on the value of human labour, which has increased awareness of the criticality of a wide range of jobs, many of which have been traditionally undervalued, both politically and socially.

The UK government’s definition of ‘key workers’ amount to 7.1 million adults, many of which are underpaid, working in insecure jobs and operating in public-facing roles. Among key workers, Black, Asian, and working-class groups make up a disproportionately large share, leaving them far more exposed to infection. Additionally, sectors dominated by female workers, such as retail and hospitality, have been hit hard by variations of lockdown, placing them at increased risk of both job loss and furlough. Uncertainty surrounding schooling and childcare provision adds an extra burden.

Gender, growth and devolution: policy problems and political possibilities.
Francesca Gains: Professor of Public Policy, Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester and member of the Greater Manchester Women and Girls’ Equality Panel.

Bogus self-employment and Covid-19: an added layer of insecurity.
Martí López-Andreu: Senior Lecturer in HRM and Employment Relations, Newcastle University, and an associate member of the Work and Equalities Institute.

#HereToDeliver: Valuing food delivery workers in the future.
Cristina Inversi: Research Fellow in Labour Law at Università Statale di Milano and a member of the Work and Equalities Institute Institute.
Tony Dundon: Professor of HRM and Employment Relations at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, and Visiting Professor at the Work and Equalities Institute.

Transport and logistics during the Covid-19 pandemic: Keeping goods in the UK moving.
Sheena Johnson: Professor of Work Psychology and Wellbeing at the University of Manchester. She heads up the Fair Treatment at Work theme in the Work and Equalities Institute, and the Social Change and Ageing theme in the Thomas Ashton Institute, University of Manchester.

26th November 2020

Acas Research Partnership: Call for proposals to undertake research on Staff Race Networks

Deadline: please send your proposal and costs to Acas by 7 December 2020

Acas is seeking expressions of interest to undertake a partnership research project on workplace internal staff race networks. In addition to understanding the coverage, prevalence and patterns of their use, we seek to review the purpose of these networks and identify the factors that underpin their success.

There is an increasing recognition of the importance of employee network groups - particularly BAME or race networks - in helping employers act on equality issues in the workplace, especially those around recruitment and progression.  Acas wish to gain a greater understanding of these networks and would like to commission research that: reviews the purpose of race networks and explores their role in the contemporary British workplace, and; identifies best practice and the factors that determine their success (in terms of how these groups are conceived, structured and maintained).

We would like to develop a small research programme that combines a systematic evidence review with multiple organizational case studies, the latter taking account of multiple perspectives: HR (via D&I leads); the Chairs and Champions of the networks (including trade unions), and; the network participants. (There may also be a benefit in additionally capturing broader management/leadership perspectives beyond those of HR depending on the structure of the organizations at issue).  That said, we welcome proposals from respondents to this call, on both the scope of the enquiry and methodologies used.

We are also interested in collecting quantitative data on the coverage, prevalence and patterns of networks and have plans to include a limited number of questions relating to this in a future employer poll provisionally scheduled for 2021. We would seek to work with the appointed project team to design questions that complement the wider study outlined here.  This polling would be funded separately as a discrete piece of work, but we would hope to integrate findings with those of the wider study.

This research will be used in three ways by Acas:

  1. To widen Acas’ understanding of the topic in order to supporting future policy activity in this area, aimed at ‘influencing employment policy and debate’ (one of Acas’ strategic aims)
  2. To inform future written guidance by Acas on setting up and maintaining staff race networks (supporting another Acas strategic aims viz. ‘advising on good practice in everyday working life’)
  3. To enable Acas to review the effectiveness and guide the support we give to our own internal staff race network (and other internal staff networks)

We therefore expect to use the outputs arising from this work to make an impact on raising Acas’ profile in this subject area as well as to add to our evidence base.  We anticipate that the output will take the form of a research report and/or written case studies suitable for publication (although we are happy for you to suggest other outputs you think may be applicable).  Publication would be on the Acas website in our Research Papers series (https://www.acas.org.uk/research-and-commentary) although we would also be supportive of parallel publication within academic literature.

 

Tender selection

This partnership project will be managed by social researchers in the Research, Analysis and Insight team in Acas. Acas’ approach to developing research partnerships is not limited to work with academics and we regularly work with other organisations to sponsor and conduct research.  It may be possible for Acas to help with access to employers/employees, but we would prefer that potential bidders also think about other ways to gain access to employers/employees if this is part of their research design. In some cases Acas colleagues play a role in elements of data collection, and this can lead to co-ownership of outputs. In all instances, we anticipate close working on the design of projects and outputs.  Our funding contribution will capped at a maximum of £20,000 which we cannot exceed.

Applications (in the form of written, short proposals) will be considered and scored on the basis of the merits and credentials of proposals received. Additionally, all bids should signal their agreement to Acas’ standard terms and conditions.  We welcome more than one proposal if you have more than one suggestion for research.

If you are interested in working with Acas and carrying out research in this area, please email research@acas.org.uk stating your interests. We will then provide details of how to apply (including scoring criteria for bids and a copy of Acas’ standard short form terms and conditions of contract).

Please note that any projects commissioned under this scheme will need to be substantively underway by March 2020 and completed as soon as possible thereafter. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 10.00am on Monday 7 December 2020.

 

19th November 2020

Covid-19 - Work, Employment and the Labour Process

Stream Organiser
Professor Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde
 
The consequences of Covid-19 for labour markets, work organisation, labour process, employment relations and the experience(s) of work have been - and remain - momentous, far-reaching and unprecedented. The organisers of this stream welcome papers of diverse kinds, ranging from conceptually-informed empirical studies, to theoretical reflections or interdisciplinary contributions that, for example, may meld epidemiological with sociological, geographical, political-economic and other disciplinary orientations. Specific foci might be; occupational health studies, where the nature of work organisation and the labour process may have contributed to exposure to SARS-CoV-2, whether front-line workers or workplace clusters (e.g. textile factories, food processing plants, contact/call centres, transport); organisational restructuring; homeworking and its manifold implications, for example, for managerial control, gender and domestic work, work life balance, collectivism, trade unionism and resistance); BAME experiences, given disproportionate levels of infection and morbidity; the future of work including the loci of work, the future of the office, automation and new technologies.
 
https://www.ilpc.org.uk/ILPC-2021/Streams/Covid-19-Work-Employment-and-the-Labour-Process
 
 

19th November 2020

Lecturer postion in employment relations or industrial relations Cardiff Business School

Cardiff Business School Cardiff Business School are looking for a new lecturer in employment relations or industrial relations.

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CCM673/lecturer-in-management-employment-and-organization

19th November 2020

CfP 'The State and the railways: 'Rail transport through: the prism of the public authorities 20-21 May,2021, Brussels'

This conference (unclear whether it will be physical or online) is being organised by the 'International and Interdisciplinary meeting Research network "Ferinter - International Railway Studies" and the Faculty Philosophy and Social Sciences (Université libre de Bruxelles).

Presentations will be in either French or English, but there will be no translation.

Send expressions of interest to ferinterfrance@gmail.com

19th November 2020

CRED webinar: Does widespread homeworking offer equality benefits or entrench inequality? 8 December 4-5.30pm

Please see details of a forthcoming webinar hosted by the Centre for Research in Equality & Diversity (CRED), School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London

Does widespread homeworking offer equality benefits or entrench inequality?

Tuesday 8 December 2020 4pm – 5.30 pm

Enormous numbers of people have experienced working at home for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) advocates have long called for a variety of flexible working arrangements, including homeworking, to broaden employment opportunities for disadvantaged labour market groups. Therefore this period of altered work practices has forced employers in sectors previously resistant to flexible or homeworking to introduce change, possibly leading to long‐term alterations that benefit working parents, carers or disabled workers, for example. On the other hand, many studies have highlighted the additional labour of childcare and homeschooling undertaken by working women while schools were closed. Furthermore, as periods of homeworking are extended and become the norm for increasing numbers of workers, there are serious concerns about the impact of social isolation on workers’ mental health, as well as questions of staff management, workload and performance monitoring that may have consequences for equality and inclusion.

This CRED webinar, chaired by Prof Tessa Wright, brings together new academic research on the topic, with views from key actors in the word of work:

  • Dr Suki Sian, Queen Mary, University of London, New experiences of homeworking in the auditing profession
  • Prof. Abigail Marks, University of Stirling, Findings from the Working @Home project
  • Claire McCartney, View from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD)
  • Natasha Owusu, Trades Union Congress, View from the trade unions

Followed by a Q&A

 

To attend, register at the following link: https://qmul-ac-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dCK5N_8tS5KNr4GkkZRGxw

19th November 2020

CERIC webinar After the social crisis: The transformation of employment relations at France Télécom

presented by Virginia Doellgast (Cornell University, USA) and Elisa Pannini (LSE) 

Wednesday, 18 November, 14:00-15:30

REGISTER HERE 

Abstract 

France Télécom long appeared to fit the stereotype of the low-trust, hierarchical French organization. In the mid-2000s, management implemented restructuring measures aimed at downsizing, centralizing decision-making, and reorganizing work via consolidation and increased specialization. These measures became the focus of negative media attention and state intervention following a wave of employee suicides in 2007-2009. Management responded by negotiating a series of social accords with France Télécom's labor unions, which launched initiatives aimed at reducing worker stress and improving psychosocial health. This led to ongoing, institutionalized social dialogue about restructuring policies and work organization practices, reversing a trend toward increasing marginalization of worker voice.  

In this talk, we will discuss how union actions and campaigns contributed to this significant change in France Télécom's approach to employment relations. We argue that union initiatives to study and publicize the negative effects of restructuring on worker stress prior to and following the suicides played a crucial role in encouraging a shift from labor exclusion to more meaningful social dialogue. At the time of the social crisis, the unions were able to draw on their past research and mobilization efforts to influence how the causes of the suicides were interpreted or framed, both within the firm and among the broader public. These initiatives became a source of communicative power, allowing worker representatives to successfully assert the value and legitimacy of worker well-being as a central concern in decision-making.   

 

Virginia Doellgast is Associate Professor of Comparative Employment Relations in the ILR School at Cornell University. Her research examines the relationship between labor market and collective bargaining institutions, inequality, and job quality, with a focus on the US and Europe. She is co-editor of International and Comparative Employment Relations (Sage, 2021) and Reconstructing Solidarity: Labour unions, precarious work, and the politics of institutional change in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018); and author of Disintegrating Democracy at Work: Labor Unions and the Future of Good Jobs in the Service Economy (Cornell University Press, 2012). 

Elisa Pannini obtained her PhD in Employment Relations from the LSE, where she teaches in the Management and International Development departments. Her current research focuses on precarious workers and union organising. 

 

Forthcoming webinars:

25 November, 12.00 – 14.00  

(joint with Northern Exposure)

Stories from a migrant city: living and working together in the shadow of Brexit 

Ben Rogaly (Sussex) 

 

30 November, 16.00 – 18.00 

(joint with LESS Group) 

What's wrong with the food system? From extractive to regenerative practices 

Steffen Böhm (Exeter) 

 

2 December, 15.00 – 16.30 

TBC 

Judy Fudge (McMaster University, Canada) 

 

9 December, 12.00 – 13.30 

The end of the sweatshop age or a new race to the bottom? 

Ashok Kumar (Birkbeck) 

 

16 December13.00 – 14.30 

Marketization: How Capitalist Exchange Subverts Democracy
and Disciplines the Working Class 

Ian Greer and Charles Umney  

13th November 2020

The Diversity Interest Group and Women's Network at the University of Greenwich mark equal pay day with an online seminar: Gender Pay: The Yawning Gap and COVID-19

Keynote: Unfinished Business: Professor Susan Corby:

Sue will talk about the gender and equal pay gaps and the flaws in the regulations.

Research Insight: The Gender Pay Gap in Europe in the context of austerity – what we can expect under recession? Professor Sian Moore

Sian will present the key findings from her gender pay gap research.

Industry Focus: Culture of an open dialogue: Reflections on women’s career development in hospitality. Dr Maria Gebbels

Maria will present her work on gender in the hospitality industry, and share some insights on the impact of COVID-19 in this arena on women

Panel discussion (all presenters)

13th November 2020

Digit Debates

A new seminar series from the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre will run on Wednesdays, 1-2pm.  For information on the whole series please click here

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Digit Debates – What do platforms do? Beyond the pro-con debate on gig labour

Speaker: Professor Juliet Schor (Boston College)

Online

 For further details and to register please click here.

 

Wednesday 25 November 202

Digit Debates – A typlology of crowdwork platforms

Speaker: Professor Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester)

Online

For further details and to register please click here.

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

 Digit Debates – Perspectives on the future in the sociology of work

Speaker: Professor Duncan Gallie (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Online

For further details and to register please click here.

 

Wednesday, 9 December

Digit Debates – How can online employee reviews help firms to innovate?

Speaker: Professor Nachiappan Subramanian (University of Sussex)

Online

 

For further details and to register please click here.

13th November 2020

Recoding BUIRA Special Seminar: Covid-19 and the employment relationship

A recording of the 'BUIRA Special Seminar: Covid-19 and the employment relationship' is now available: 

https://bham-ac-uk.zoom.us/rec/play/s5RcF8H05GmFHrNkYC8U-KeKIo3GIgQkdfjgzdILlYKpLMmepYrH5GEbFwGFut2TY1xYBwlz4tiRLq_F.b7nn2caPfa2-mYIP?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=CUCcr6YTTR2W_wHuAP4NWg.1604582144515.b78e71708570e55896e7a0b17119b5a6&_x_zm_rhtaid=410

5th November 2020

IRRU Seminar: Matthew Bidwell 'Stepping Sideways to Step Up'

Join the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick Business School in their seminar series for 2020/21. At the second seminar, Matthew Bidwell (The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania) will discuss:

Stepping Sideways to Step Up.

Speaker: Matthew Bidwell, Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Title: Stepping Sideways to Step Up

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2020

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting (email irruoffice@wbs.ac.uk if you have not received a calendar invitation already)

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 GMT

Abstract: There is growing evidence that many job moves within organizations take people sideways, into jobs that are at the same hierarchical level as the one that was left. Despite the prevalence of these lateral moves, though, we have little evidence on what role they play in workers’ careers. We use an abductive approach to explore that role. We first use matching and career theories to outline the variety of different ways in which lateral moves might affect workers’ careers, based both on how the moves take workers into jobs with different skill demands and jobs with different rewards. We use this framework to guide our empirical exploration of eight years of personnel data from a large US healthcare company. Our analyses show that those employees who move laterally achieve substantially higher pay growth than those that do not, even though we do not find any evidence of performance improvements. We draw on these findings to suggest that lateral mobility may be a means for organization to continue rewarding those who are not able to be promoted.

5th November 2020

Exploring the international frontiers of labour regulation

Exploring the international frontiers of labour regulation

Date: 4th November 2020

Time: 1.30-4.00pm (GMT)

Centre for the Political Economy of Labour - Global Labour Reform Seminar Series

Hosted by Strathclyde Business School, Department of Work, Employment & Organisation

You are warmly invited to an online event exploring the international frontiers of labour regulation in Uzbekistan, Brazil and Mauritius. Considering changes in government policy and employment regulation and the global experience and spectrum of labour, this event is a space for sharing stories of work and labour contestation, making new connections, and informing the future research agenda of the Centre for the Political Economy of Labour.

We are delighted to confirm participation from:

  • The Uzbek Forum for Human Rights
  • The Federal University of Mato Grosso (Brazil)
  • The confederation of trade unions in the Republic of Mauritius, The Confederation des Travailleurs des Secteurs Public et Prive (CTSP)

 

Registration is free: sign up here

30th October 2020

Extended deadline 1 December 2020: Call for Papers for the 19th ILERA World Congress and Covid-19 Congress Adaptation

We have extended the deadline for submissions of paper abstracts and special session proposals for the 19th ILERA World Congress to 1 December 2020.

The theme of the 19th ILERA (the International Labour and Employment Relations) World Congress is 'Making and Breaking Boundaries in Work and Employment Relations' and the congress
will be held on 21-24 June 2021 in Lund, Sweden.

Covid-19 Congress Adaptation
We closely monitor the development in relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic, and collaborate with the ILERA Executive Committee. We follow recommendations from international organizations and government authorities, and take all necessary measures to ensure a safe and responsible congress, and to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.
The upcoming World Congress will provide excellent opportunities for presentation and discussion of new research results and discourses, policy debates, exchange of best practices, and research and social networking.
We strive for a ‘two track’ congress-approach, i.e. to combine an on campus congress with robust digital solutions to ensure a broad and global participation at the congress. A final decision regarding on campus congress activities will be communicated no later than 1 March 2021.
Registration will open 18 January 2021. Principles for cancellation and refunding of registration fees will reflect participants’ needs in the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

The Call for Papers can be found at the congress website: www.ileraworldcongress2021.se

For questions, please contact: ilera2021@jur.lu.se

30th October 2020

Online seminar for Postgraduate Researchers Tackling contemporary research challenges in uncertain times: ‘Re-framing your research’ 6th November 2020 (2pm-3pm)

PGR Seminar Series hosted by the Work and Equalities Institute (University of Manchester) 

Speaker: Professor Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven) 

Every research project evolves and changes, as new challenges and new questions present themselves, the current pandemic is one such situation. In this online session we will hear from Professor Valeria Pulignano about her  experiences reshaping research projects throughout her career and how she has tackled constraints of researching within the current context in her role as the principal investigator for ResPeTMe a major Horizon 2020 project. This session will also provide an opportunity for PGRs to share some of their concerns and talk through practical solutions on how to re-thinking their projects within the current context. This session will be tailored to your interests hence we will be collecting questions before 26th October, please submit them here: shorturl.at/nsCU9. Registration here (OPEN TO ALL PGRS!): http://bit.ly/reframe-your-research

Please get in touch if you have any questions work and equalities institute wei@manchester.ac.uk

23rd October 2020

Webinar: Building a New Social Contract: Lessons from the COVID Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and Renewed Worker Activism

You are invited to attend ‘Building a New Social Contract: Lessons from the COVID Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and Renewed Worker Activism’.

This event is organised by the Centre for Global Business’ International Consortium for Research in Employment and Work (iCREW) at Monash Business School, together with the Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association and the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria, Australia.

There is a long-recognised need for a new social contract that better fits the workforce and economy. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement makes action all the more necessary and urgent.

Join Speaker Professor Thomas A Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management and Moderator Professor Margaret Gardner AC, Vice-Chancellor of Monash University as they discuss how to move forward by incorporating these issues into a new social contract at work and in a society that is more productive, equitable, inclusive and resilient.

The webinar convenor is Professor Greg Bamber, Director, iCREW (CGB), Monash Business School; President, Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA)

Register here

 

 

WEBINAR DETAILS:

26 Oct. 2020: 

10.30pm UK time;

5.30pm NY time;  

27 Oct. 2020 
8.30-9.30am AEST [Melbourne, Australia]
 

 

 

 

19th October 2020

Professor Irena Grugulis has been awarded Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)

Many congratulations to Professor Irena Grugulis (Professor of Work and Skills, University of Leeds) for being awarded Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS). BUIRA nominated Irena for her long-standing contribution to industrial relations scholarship, notably in the area of work and skills.

19th October 2020

William Arthur (Willy) Brown, 22 April 1945 – 1 August 2019

It is with great sadness that we convey the news that Emeritus Professor Willy Brown passed away unexpectedly on Thursday evening at his home near Cambridge.

 

Willy’s achievements in the industrial relations and labour economics fields were exceptional. For many decades Willy was an eminent scholar in these fields, not only in the United Kingdom but also internationally. He was arguably one of the most influential academics of his generation in both research and policy formulation. 

 

Willy was Emeritus Master of Darwin College and Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Cambridge. He was previously the Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick, which gained an international reputation for excellence and influence under his leadership, before becoming the Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Cambridge from 1985 to his retirement in 2012. 

 

Willy provided academic leadership through various senior administrative roles at Cambridge. He also served as President of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association from 1986 to 1989 and as a member of the Executive of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (formerly the International Industrial Relations Association) from 1989 to 1995.

 

Willy held a number of significant government appointments in the UK including foundation member of the Low Pay Commission from 1997-2007 and as a senior member of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service Council and Panel of Arbitrators.

 

Willy was the author of many seminal journal articles and books including Piecework Bargaining (1973), The Changing Contours of British Industrial Relations (1981), The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (2009) and The Emerging Industrial Relations of China (2017). In 2002 he was made Commander of the British Empire for services to employment relations.

 

Willy was an Honorary Professor at Renmin University in Beijing and was instrumental in bringing together international and Chinese scholars to examine developments in Chinese employment relations. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney in recognition of his significant contributions to industrial relations scholarship and policy in Australia and internationally.

 

Notwithstanding Willy’s considerable academic accomplishments, his greatest impact may have been through his personal connections and friendships. Willy strived to make the world not only a better place but also a fairer place. In this respect he lived by example. Willy was a truly magnificent person with a unique capacity to speak with anyone on equal terms. He was so selfless, so humble, so generous, and so kind. Willy was greatly loved and will be sorely missed.

 

- Willy’s former doctoral students

 

4th August 2019

Executive committee election results

Elections to the two vacant places on the BUIRA Executive Committee took place at the association's Annual General Meeting earlier this month in Newcastle. 

Eleanor Kirk (University of Glasgow) and  Yvonne Rueckert (Portsmouth University).

21st July 2019

Change in BUIRA Stewardship Team

Following a successful conference hosted at Newcastle University, we're pleased to announce that a team from the University of Birmingham have become the BUIRA Stewards.

Many thanks to Jo McBride, Ana Lopes, Stewart Johnstone, Stephen Procter and Michael Brooks for their hard work running the association.

 

The Birmingham team is as follows:

Tony Dobbins  – President

David J Bailey – Membership Officer

Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme – Events and Conference Officer

Andy Hodder – Secretary

Paul Lewis – Treasurer

Alex Wood – Communications Officer

 

21st July 2019


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