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’ answer22nd February 2016
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.”
Let Us Vote
Together with the3million and British in Europe, we have launched a campaign to allow all UK residents, and all UK citizens living abroad, to vote in general elections and referendums. Read more »
Huge pressure on Corbyn not to cut deal with May without public vote
Pressure is growing on Jeremy Corbyn not to sign up to any deal with Theresa May unless it is accompanied by a public vote. Read more »
New Labour motion: Stop Brexit – transform Britain and Europe
A new motion for local Labour parties, released in early April 2019. Read more »
Now is the time: step up the fight against Brexit
We are living through a profound political crisis. Everything is at stake, but we can win. Read more »
Brexit, Farce, and the Lexit Left
In this discussion article, Neil Faulkner argues that Brexit is the British expression of the wave of nationalism, racism, and fascism sweeping the world – and Lexit is on the wrong side of history. Read more »