Stuart Sansome, one of our National Executive Council members, spoke for Community in the debate on the UK’s European Union referendum at the IndustriALL Europe conference in Madrid last week.
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
On the 23rd of June, the UK will vote to decide whether to remain a member of the European Union. As we speak it is unclear what the outcome of the vote will be and this should be a wake-up call for us all.
What we do know is that 3m UK jobs are linked to our trade with the EU. Two hundred thousand (200,000) UK businesses trade with the EU and that we are safer thanks to the European Arrest Warrant.
We also know that numerous sections of our employment laws have been shaped by being a member of the EU. In fact, 41 out of 65 new Health and Safety regulations introduced between 1997 and 2009 originated in the EU.
The referendum is therefore about jobs, investment and solidarity. The current Tory government in the UK think we should de- regulate, accelerate the race to the bottom. It is clear that left to the Tories our social protections and our employment laws would be fatally undermined.
This is why we are campaigning for a vision of a social Europe, a social charter 2, a new social charter, new pillar of social rights. Because for many workers the 1989 Framework Directive has become de rigueur .
We need a new model fit for the 21st Century, for a new generation to protect them from an unregulated global corporatism that has no interest in social protection and employment rights. Congress, Community will be doing everything we can to secure an IN vote, however these days you do not have to look too far to see the signs of divisive nationalism and the far right to recognise that we need to wake up. We’ve been there before and we are not going back !! We look forward to your support, your solidarity, so that we can all move forward and create a Europe that looks after its workers and recognise that the success of the EU as a political as well as an economic project depends on a balance of economic and social measures.
As someone who works in the UK Steel Industry, workers and employers have a shared interest in a stronger level playing field across Europe of modern labour market regulation and higher wages. Indeed, for Europe to respond to the needs and wants of its people, working people must have a voice that is taken into account at work and in decisions about the future of work and the EU.
Let me make this clear , every day in the UK workers rely on the Social Charter for a range of employment and social rights for fair treatment in the workplace, paid holidays, maternity leave and protections afforded through the Working Time Directive. Our campaign is focussed on promoting a vision of a social Europe, based upon raising living and working standards and the sustainable benefits this would provide for our economy,jobs and environment.
Globalisation cannot be prevented, and should not be passively accepted: it needs to be shaped and controlled so that it serves the interests of all the people.The European Union is part of the solution not part of the problem, join us, support us and let’s make sure the UK votes to remain IN. Thank you.