MILLIONS of workers today will be following the lead of the RMT, ASLEF and the Bakers’ trade unions in voting to leave the European Union and to bring the Cameron government down.
The stand of the three unions is in complete opposition to the line of the TUC, which has been quite happy to be one of the main props of the Cameron government and the unelected EU dictatorship.
Yesterday, in an email to members, RMT leader Mick Cash said: ‘Millions of trade unionists and working people will be voting “Leave” because they want the hope of a better future at work and at home.
‘Hope that we can be free to develop our industries and public services free, from EU-driven privatisation and deregulation. Hope that we can be free to pursue policies that promote jobs and prosperity, free from EU-driven austerity.
‘Hope for fair employment where all workers get the proper rate for the job, free from undercutting and an EU race to the bottom. Hope that we can take back democracy so we can make laws that benefit our communities not corporations – and be free from laws and corporate carve ups that we have never voted for such as TTIP. Hope for a better world and true international solidarity beyond fortress Europe.’
In their joint statement, calling for workers to reject the European Union, the three unions insist, ‘The EU is anti-worker and cannot be reformed. We support a “Leave” vote in the forthcoming referendum because we believe the EU acts overwhelmingly in the interests of big business and against the interests of workers.’
It adds, on ‘The myth of the EU and workers’ rights: ‘It’s a myth that the EU has won workers’ rights and protections for workers. Nearly all the laws that protect workers in Britain are UK laws which have been won by the struggles and campaigns of the British trade union and labour movement.
‘In fact, the EU and its European Court of Justice have accelerated their policy agenda which attacks trade union rights, job protections and wages.
”Defend our NHS and progressive legislation
‘The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the United States will promote big business at the expense of sovereign governments and their organisations including our NHS. Environmental regulations, employment rights, food safety, privacy laws and many other safeguards will also be secondary to the right of corporations to make even bigger profits.
‘The threat to democracy and from the far right
‘The majority of the laws which affect our lives are now made in the EU and not the UK. This is a major problem because a distant link between law makers and the electorate creates a vacuum which could be exploited by the far right. Big decisions such as TTIP are being made with very little regard for democratic oversight and cannot be reversed at the ballot box.
‘Internationalism not isolationism
‘We are internationalists. We believe workers throughout the world, in Britain, America and Asia, as well as Europe, have more in common with each other than the heads of big business in their own countries. Out of the EU and into the world.
‘No fortress Britain. No Fortress Europe
‘Unlike UKIP and others we don’t believe Britain should be an island unto itself. Our country, and indeed many countries, are nations of immigrants. We want everyone to get a fair rate for the job and everyone to have the same rights at work.
‘We don’t support fortress Britain and so we don’t support fortress Europe. We profoundly regret that children and families fleeing poverty, persecution and war are not being allowed into Europe.
‘The challenge we need to address is not the distribution of people around the world it is the distribution of wealth and resources. There is enough wealth for everyone’s needs.’