Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/22672

Posted on 25 April 2016 at 21:35 GMT

Trade unions: myths of EU 'Remain' campaign

RMT banner: No to EU austerity, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT banner: No to EU austerity, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Semple, PCS union rep

When Jeremy Corbyn, flanked by Blairite minders like Alan Johnson, made his first serious intervention in the EU referendum debate, he declared that if we voted Leave, the Tories would dump equal pay, annual leave and maternity rights.

This follows months of the Trades Union Congress cranking up the left wing of Project Fear. General Secretary Frances O'Grady famously and disgracefully declared in February: "Most of the rights we depend on derive from Europe".

Socialists must be absolutely clear that, in or out of Europe, our rights are under threat. We can choose, like O'Grady, to hide behind the skirts of the European Union or we can choose to organise and campaign for our rights.

The European Union has not prevented Tesco attacking the pensions of staff, or the premiums they enjoyed for working anti-social hours.

It has not prevented the government's quest to break up national pay bargaining for council workers and teachers, or their attack on public sector pensions, or the strike ban they imposed against Prison Officers.

All of these have been imposed without a peep from the EU, the institutions of which are fully behind the Tory plan to make City spivs ever richer and workers ever poorer.

Maternity rights were not a gift from the European Commission; they were first wrested out of the hands of employers by strong unions.

This is why strongly unionised jobs often come with more than the statutory minimum entitlement to maternity leave.

Managers routinely ignore these rights - and un-unionised workers have no redress, for fear of angering the boss.

Union leaders associated with the establishment-led Remain campaign are allergic to the kind of industrial struggles that can secure rights like these.

A huge section of the working class will not be convinced by this scaremongering.

They will be repulsed by Labour activists standing beside Tories on high streets, handing out leaflets promising that the EU will secure jobs - the same Tories who have slashed more than a million public sector jobs.

Workers will be instinctively repelled by a blood-spattered establishment promising jam tomorrow while hospitals go bankrupt, libraries close and school places evaporate.

They are right to be repelled - and someone has to speak for them. This is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is organising a working class, socialist Leave campaign.

We must fight on two fronts - to push these union leaders into fighting austerity and to build a socialist Leave campaign that rejects EU-mandated austerity, privatisation and deregulation.


How the bosses' EU acts against workers and trade unions

Kevin Parlsow

The 'Remain' campaign, including unfortunately most trade union and Labour Party leaders, says that workers' rights would be more adversely affected by a vote to 'Leave' the European Union (EU). This is not true! Workers and trade unions are already under attack from the EU. Although 'accepting' the right to organise in trade unions of a workers' choice (part of International Labour Organisation - ILO - principles, not an EU right), when this comes into conflict with the bosses' objectives of the single market and the rights of businesses to exploit their workers, the capitalist EU invariably comes down on the side of the bosses.

Here is how the bosses' EU acts against workers and trade unions and facilitates the 'race to the bottom':

The truth is, in or out of the EU, the only defence against the bosses' attacks is to build independent, strong and fighting unions with a class-conscious membership, which links this to the idea of changing society in a socialist direction.


This second of the above articles was posted on the Socialist Party website on 25 April 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

EU:

triangleThe fog of Brexit

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

triangleThem & Us

triangleTheresa May's 'Chequers deal' mauled by Johnson and EU

triangleGDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes

Striking back against EU law:

triangleNo to Tory and EU austerity

triangleLindsey oil refinery strike: Workers score important victory

Unions:

triangleNSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

triangleTories in chaos - general election now!

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Trade unions:

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

triangleTrade unions mobilise against EDL in Worcester

Workers:

triangleSouth Africa: new workers' formations herald fightback against Ramaphosa's capitalist agenda

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Privatisation:

triangleYork health workers say no to privatisation

Agency workers:

triangleSolid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks

Lindsey Oil Refinery:

triangleConstruction workers stop work to protest at the undermining of jobs and pay

Lisbon Treaty:

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/9/18

Black

London Socialist Party meetings for Black History Month

19/9/18

RMT

Strikers ready to up the ante over rail safety

19/9/18

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Socialist Party opposes racist EDL

19/9/18

Newcastle

Hundreds of Newcastle United fans attend Mike Ashley Out meeting

19/9/18

Leicester

Socialists and campaigners protest Leicester NHS cuts

19/9/18

Liverpool

March to save threatened Liverpool Women's Hospital

19/9/18

The Socialist

Join our Socialist sales drive for issue 1011

19/9/18

Liverpool

Liverpool airport workers demand decent pay

19/9/18

York

York health workers say no to privatisation

19/9/18

Birmingham

Birmingham home carers' protest demo

19/9/18

UCU

University pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

19/9/18

Hull

Socialist Students campaigns at Hull freshers fair

19/9/18

Lewisham

Lewisham: binning the rates rise

19/9/18

Leicester

Leicester UCU fights redundancies

14/9/18

Prisons

POA walkout over government failure to make prisons safe

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999