Union leaders have written a joint letter to the Mirror expressing their concerns about the impact a vote to leave the EU would have on workers. Roy Rickhuss was among the signatories, representing millions of union members. Here is the full text of the letter:
As trade union leaders, we stand up for 6million working people every day.
Right now, we’re worried. Worried that the UK will vote to leave the European Union – and that will be a disaster for working people.
The EU isn’t perfect. But there are three big reasons to vote Remain.
First: decent jobs. Working people’s wages haven’t recovered since the 2007 crash. They simply can’t afford another hit to their pay packets.
And that’s what leaving the EU would mean. It would be harder to sell what Britain makes abroad. Big companies located here might move their operations elsewhere.
That means we would lose jobs. And the knock-on effect would make us all worse off.
Britain’s proud manufacturing industries would be worst hit. And that would spell the end of many well-paid, skilled jobs around the country.
And with the UK worse off, the NHS will suffer too. There will be less money to fund nurses, midwives and hospitals.
Then there’s our protections at work – fought for by unions, underpinned by the EU.
At least 20 days paid leave. Paid time off for medical appointments if you’re pregnant. Time off to look after a child who’s ill. Protection for temps & agency workers. Equal pay for women and part-timers.
All of these are at risk of being watered down or even scrapped if we leave the EU.
Working people know they’re vital safeguards against bad bosses – but Leave campaigners call them ‘red tape’, and want them binned.
We can’t risk it.
And then, there’s the future. This huge decision is about our kids. We all want them to have a decent start in life.
Staying part of Europe is about that. It’s about the good jobs and opportunities that being part of the EU gives them.
For these reasons, we’ll be voting Remain in the EU referendum. We urge you to do the same.
Vote for jobs. Vote for protections at work. And vote for a better future for your family. Vote Remain on June 23.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community
Len McCluskey, General Secretary, UNITE
Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON
Tim Roache, General Secretary, GMB
John Hannett, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive, Royal College of Midwives
Dave Ward, Communication Workers Union
Manuel Cortes, Transport Salaried Staffs Association
Gerry Morrissey, General Secretary, Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union
John Smith, General Secretary, Musician’s Union
Brian Rye – General Secretary of UCATT