Responding to the result of the EU referendum, Community’s General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss said:
“Yesterday was a momentous vote for our democracy and our economy and everyone is beginning to adjust to what lies ahead. Community democratically decided to support the campaign to stay in the European Union and we made the case to remain to protect workers’ rights and preserve jobs. But seeing the clear results in the towns and regions where many of our members live, there was strong support to leave the European Union.
“Many of our members, particularly those in manufacturing industries, have faced significant challenges since the financial crisis. We have seen job losses and we have had to work hard to maintain terms and conditions. The devastating closure of the Redcar steel works hit national headlines and was a symbol of government failure to save our steel but behind those headlines our members’ communities elsewhere have also not benefitted from the UK’s slow economic recovery.
“The task now is to bring people together, address their concerns and forge a path to new prosperity outside of the European Union. But there should be no knee-jerk reactions either from employers or from politicians. A period of measured calm is required as a divided country and divided political parties find a way forward.
“Nevertheless, there is an urgent need for reassurance from our political leaders. Reassurance to Leave voters that their wishes and concerns will be respected. Reassurance to Remain voters that there will be no divisive triumphalism. Reassurance to business and in particular manufacturing business that the government will support them through the uncertainty ahead. And reassurance to workers that their rights will be protected.
“Community and its predecessor unions have seen vast economic and social change over generations. Throughout that time we have stood by our members, fought for better pay and acted to provide job security. That thread remains unbroken and we will continue to stand up for our members, their families and communities.”