Monday, April 11, 2016
Why a vote to leave the EU would be detrimental to workers' rights
I recommend activists spend some time looking at the independent legal opinion commissioned by the TUC and linked to above - particularly those inclined to a "left-wing" case to leave the EU.
Lambeth branch of UNISON consulted our members and found an overwhelming majority in favour of remaining in the EU - and the reasoned argument of Michael Ford QC, exposing just how vulnerable our legal rights would be outside the EU, underlines the wisdom of that majority.
The "left" case for Parliamentary (or "national") sovereignty (which many of us found persuasive in the 80s) is weakened in the twenty first century not only by the globalisation of the economy and the retreat of states from attempts to control markets.
From the point of view of the workplace, where the reach of trade unions and collective bargaining has withered over the past generation, the fact that departure from the EU would place at risk most of the (fairly miserable) legal protections we have as workers is the most compelling of reasons to vote to stay in the European Union.
The EU Referendum is at best an irrelevance to the interests of working people (since it arose entirely to settle disputes within the Conservative Party). If, however, voters decide to punish an unpopular Government by voting the UK out of the EU it is working people, rather than David Cameron, who will end up with bloody noses.
I hope UNISON's NEC doesn't cop-out on Wednesday by adopting a policy of inoffensive neutrality...
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.