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05 November 1997

Bargaining for equal pay - a trade unionist's guide
Despite almost 30 years of equal pay legislation, women continue to earn significantly less than men. In 1996, women working full time earned just 80% of the average hourly earnings of male full timers and women part timers achieved just 58% of men's full-time hourly pay.

Pursuing - and winning - equal pay therefore remains an important trade union goal and a new booklet(1) published today by the Labour Research Department (LRD) aims to assist union negotiators to achieve it.

An important development recently in the area of equal pay has been the publication by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) of its Code of practice on equal pay. The code came into force in January 1997 and contains advice and guidance for employers on how to ensure that their pay systems are free of sex bias. It is thus an important tool for union negotiators who can draw the code to the employer's attention and apply pressure for its recommendations to be implemented.

Bargaining for equal pay - a trade unionist's guide sets out the recommendations contained in the EOC code and explains how these can be used to pursue equal pay claims. It also describes the law on equal pay - both UK and European - and throughout provides practical examples of union action and strategies in pursuit of equal pay.

Notes to editors

Bargaining for equal pay - a trade unionist's guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?2.45 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?23.75 (?61.00 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 83 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For further information contact Stephanie Peck on 0171 928 3649.

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