GMB union backs ‘in’ but warns EU has ‘lost its way’

General secretary, Tim Roache, says a social Europe, not leaving the EU, is the workers’ answer

22nd February 2016

gmb-union-rally-upbeat

The GMB union will be advising its 631,000 members to vote to remain inside the European Union in the upcoming referendum now called for 23rd June. But the union’s new general secretary, Tim Roache, has warned that the EU has ‘lost its way’ and must return to the vision of a social Europe of rising living standards and working class protection.

Importantly, he also committed the organisation to not promote any arguments that pit ‘worker against worker’ and uphold the internationalist tradition of the labour movement. In comments following the announcement of the referendum date he said:

One of the worst kept secrets is that the EU needs reform. The vision of a social Europe raising living standards and building the economies of new member states has lost its way. In truth it has been diverted by business interests over working families.

“The exploitation of people desperate for a better life has been growing in recent years. Undercutting wage rates and denying local people jobs has become the visible signs of this corporate exploitation. It’s wrong, it’s outrageous and it is completely stoppable. Not by voting to leave the EU, but by demanding a return to that vision of a social Europe.

“Does anybody actually believe that the European laws on things like maternity and parental leave, health and safety protections, equal rights for part time workers, TUPE , paid holidays and so much more would be protected by the Conservatives, UKIP or any of their fellow travellers? Dream on if you do.

“GMB will be honest and informative throughout the process. GMB will not seek or promote any argument that pitches worker against worker. This coming vote is about our future, about a vision of what a social Europe can bring.”


More News

Key left figures launch ‘Alternative Mandate’ for Brexit negotiations

Left and progressives to unite around demands on the Brexit process, warning of "shock doctrine" moment if Tory plans are allowed to go ahead. Read more »


We must unite to oppose the Tories' Brexit plans

In this letter, MPs, trade unionists and campaigners set out their reasons for supporting The Alternative Mandate, a set of demands on the Brexit process. Read more »


Citizens Take Over Europe

Join our Zoom meeting with Adam Tooze – part of the transnational online festival Read more »


Open letter on urgent and necessary measures for rural workers in the context of COVID-19

Another Europe has signed this open letter from European Coordination Via Campesina Read more »


Trumpism is a threat to your health - and not just in America, say campaigners and MPs

UK government and Trump administration, as well as far right governments in India and Brazil, engaged in policies which risk sacrificing lives for nativist political objectives Read more »


Promoted by Michael Chessum on behalf of Another Europe Is Possible, both at: c/o Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DY. Privacy policy.