This page deals with poverty in the UK. Union and their members have always been concerned about poverty - William Beveridge called the TUC “the godfathers of the Beveridge report”.

Before the welfare state, many unions ran welfare services that were often the only place working people could turn to in times of need. Our experience of the problems with these services – unions simply weren’t big enough or rich enough to meet the standards we set for ourselves - meant that we became one of the main forces for the creation of social security. After Beveridge, unions negotiated strong occupational pension schemes that have helped this country to reduce the number of pensioners in poverty. Union members have been leaders in campaigns to defend the welfare state and have supported charities and voluntary organisations that have filled the gaps where the welfare state is patchy.

Here there are links to facts and arguments for trade unionists interested in or campaigning against poverty


Saving Our Safety Net - Magazine

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Stock Code: GE307

Produced to mark the start of the TUC's welfare campaign and to draw attention to the horrendous five-week wait for benefits once Universal Credit is established, this tabloid magazine is ideal for distribution to union members.

£2:00 for a pack of 50 magazines
£3.00 for a pack of 100 magazines

Enquiries about bulk copies can be sent to [email protected].

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How to Boost the Wage Share

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Stock Code: EC151

The thirteenth in the series of Touchstone Pamphlets designed to inform and stimulate debate on the most pressing issues facing British policymakers. This pamphlet argues that increasing the wage share is one of the key economic policy challenges for the next decade, to ensure that growth is both sustainable and inclusive, and increases living standards.

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Hard Work, Hidden Lives: the Short Report of the Commission on Vulnerable Employment

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Stock Code: EC136

This report highlights the key findings and recommendations of the Commission on Vulnerable Employment. It looks at the extent and impact of vulnerable employment in the UK, and proposes practical solutions to end exploitative treatment in work. The report covers awareness of employment rights in the UK, access to advice, enforcement of employment law and legal loopholes that prevent make unfair treatment permissible. It makes clear that trade unions, employers, civil society and government all have to act if vulnerable work is to end.

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The Hidden One-in-Five:winning a fair deal for Britain’s vulnerable workers

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Stock Code: GE246

As many as 20 per cent of the UK workforce are at risk of exploitation due to their employment status, ignorance of their rights, or lack of information in their own language. This report, by the Policy Studies Institute for the TUC, outlines the problems and makes the case for better rights for agency workers and others in precarious employment.

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