Neoliberalism and Labour Law: Challenging the Concepts

A conference Wednesday 5th November 9:15- 4:00pm At the NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD About the conference What has neo-liberalism ever done for us? That’s a question increasingly being asked by more and more workers and their unions.

5th November 2008 – 10:15 am - 5:00 pm

A conference
Wednesday 5th November
9:15- 4:00pm
At the NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

About the conference

What has neo-liberalism ever done for us? That’s a question increasingly being asked by more and more workers and their unions.

For workers, neo-liberalism has delivered little. In theory neo-liberalism (ie deregulation and the “free market” economy) was meant to deliver investment, innovation, efficiency and a trickle down prosperity. In reality, neo-liberalism has meant privatisation – where public services suffer under profit-led management: deregulation – leaving the banks and finance sector free to gamble national economies into debt and exploitation – allowing bosses to ignore or undermine national and international standards established to protect the vulnerable from exploitation by the powerful.

In the UK in 2008 workers face increased prices, cuts to their living standards, long hours and insecurity in both work and in retirement. Unions suffer the most restrictive laws in Western Europe and now face the most serious European judicial onslaught on trade union rights since the Taff Vale judgment of 1901. Prosperity is increasingly seen to be reserved for the unaccountable few (who face none of the pay restraints imposed on workers, none of the regulations and burdens placed on unions and no liability for the actions they take). Little wonder that neoliberalism is looked on as a social and economic failure.

Failure to clean up the deregulated market has left workers feeling resentful of their exploitation, alienated from their political roots and desperate for an alternative economic and social agenda. So what can be done? This conference focuses on labour law and offers a critical analysis of the neoliberal agenda from three important aspects – legal, political and economic. An excellent platform of speakers will consider the problems and offer policy proposals for the future.

Programme

9:15 Registration

9:55 Introduction from Chair: Carolyn Jones, IER

Session 1: Labour law and Neoliberalism

10.00 Asserting International Standards in a global economy: rejecting deregulation
Prof Keith Ewing

10:30 The significance of the European Court of Justice cases
Gary Morton

11:00 Tea and coffee

11:15- 11:30 Making the workers pay for neoliberal failures I
Jane Carolan, Unison

11:30- 11:45 Making the workers pay for neoliberal failures II
Bob Crow, RMT

Session 2: The Politics of Labour Law: Looking Beyond the Neoliberal Agenda

11:50 Introduction from Chair: Larry Elliot, The Guardian- author ‘The Gods That Failed: Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future

12:05 Jon Cruddas MP

12:35 International Unions and mergers- industrial commonsense?
Len McCluskey, Unite

1.05 Questions

1:15 Lunch

Session 3: The Economics of Neoliberalism

2:15 Introduction from Chair: Paul Smith

2:25 Private Equity: Opening the lion’s share to the regulatory environment
Paul Maloney and Maria Ludkin GMB

2:45 Economic Theory: what it doesn’t say on the tin
Dr Frank Wilkinson

3:05 Fat cats: make them accountable and liable
Dr Stephanie Blankenburg

3:30 panel discussion and questions

4:00 Close

Who should attend

The seminar will be of great interest to trade unionists, employment lawyers, personnel specialists, academics and students and those concerned with the development of public policy.

How to book

To reserve your place, complete the form below and send your cheque, made payable to IER, to Institute of Employment Rights, The People’s Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD.
Tel 0151 702 6925; fax 0151 702 6935; office@ier.org.uk

CPD, NPP and EPP accreditation

This seminar counts for credit hours under the Law Society’s Continuing
Development Scheme and the General Council of the Bar’s New
Practitioners’ Programme and Established Practitioners’ Programme.

Additional Information

Details of nearby hotels are available from the office. Name changes are accepted up until the time of the event. Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration.

Venue

NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD
Nearest tube and train: Euston and King’s Cross
Map

Cost

IER subscribers and members £75.00
Trade unions £90.00
Commercial £220.00

Booking form

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