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TUC calls on Prime Minister to come clean about his plans to re-negotiate workers' rights from Europe

The TUC has yesterday (Wednesday) called on the Prime Minister to come clean about his plans for re-negotiating rights for working people set out originally under the European Social Chapter.

When asked during Prime Minister’s Questions if the Social Chapter would be up for re-negotiation, David Cameron said that he found elements of it unacceptable but he would not reveal which workers’ rights he has in mind.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said yesterday: “The Prime Minister urgently needs to come clean with the British public about his plans for EU re-negotiation. His criticism today of the Social Chapter should send a chill down the spine of people at work.

“UK membership of the European Union has delivered legal rights to paid holidays, rest breaks, health and safety, maternity rights and fair treatment for part-time and agency workers. If Mr Cameron’s strategy for placating his Eurosceptic MPs and donors is to argue for weaker employment rights then voters deserve to know.

“Making people’s working lives worse – and adding to Britain’s already dire reputation as a nation of sweatshops – will lose support for a ‘yes’ vote and make Brexit more likely.

“Europe is at its best when it meets the interests of both business and workers. Abandoning this blueprint would be a disaster for the UK and the EU.”

Polling published last month by the TUC revealed that British people are far more likely to want to remain part of the EU if it leads to better pay and rights at work.

The poll of 4,000 UK voters – commissioned from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner – showed that 55 per cent of the public would be more supportive of Britain's membership of Europe if it did more to help working people get decent pay and conditions at work.

By contrast, fewer than one in four (23 per cent) said they would be more supportive of the UK’s EU membership if it did more to cut red tape on businesses.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews

 

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