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:

triangleTrouble ahead for Johnson: Brexit is far from 'done'

triangleThe Brexit battles still to come

triangleGeneral election is the real 'people's vote'

triangleBoot out Boris and his bosses' deal. General election now!

triangleBrexit theatrics continue

Striking back against EU law:

triangleNo to Tory and EU austerity

Unions:

triangleBuild union resistance to Tory attacks

triangleNottingham Socialist Party: How do we build fighting lefts in the trade unions?

triangleUndervalued gritters to walk out

Trade unions:

triangleStand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Workers:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on Thursday 16 January; Now over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attacks on pensions. Photo James Ivens

Union:

triangleUnion lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

Privatisation:

triangleChildren need intensive care? We don't care!

Agency workers:

triangleDVSA strike: action impacting

Lindsey Oil Refinery:

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

Lisbon Treaty:

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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

15/1/20

Young people

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

15/1/20

Scotland

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

15/1/20

London

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

15/1/20

Government

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

15/1/20

Nottingham

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

15/1/20

Strike

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

15/1/20

Newham

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

15/1/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party national committee meeting

15/1/20

Hackney

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

15/1/20

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

15/1/20

Buses

London bus drivers ballot to strike

15/1/20

PCS

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

15/1/20

Union

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

9/1/20

Unison

Unison national executive members challenge validity of nomination for Keir Starmer for leader of the Labour Party

8/1/20

Unions

Build union resistance to Tory attacks

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999