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Weakening workers’ rights in the EU is playing with fire, warns TUC

Weakening workers’ rights will not win votes to stay in the EU, says the TUC today (Wednesday).

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will spell out a strong message on the EU referendum as she delivers the inaugural Ken Coates Memorial Lecture at the University of Nottingham. In her speech, Frances O’Grady says:

“Since before the crash, the EU, along with the IMF and European Bank, has pursued an agenda of austerity, liberalisation and deregulation - including taking a sledge hammer to collective bargaining in the programme countries. So the political class should not be surprised if workers around Europe start to wonder - what's in it for them?

“Never ones to miss an opportunity, some business leaders are lobbying to get workers' rights - particularly those for agency workers and on working time, together with a moratorium on any new rights - thrown into the reform package.

“We can all agree that Europe must create more jobs. European trade unions want a much more ambitious investment programme for skilled, sustainable, well-paid jobs than is currently on offer. But you don’t get that through deregulation or slamming the brakes on rights at work.

“Europe must become a good jobs factory. Without workers' rights it would become a sweatshop.

“The government is playing with fire. They will not win blue collar votes to stay in the EU by weakening workers’ rights.”



Media enquiries:

Clare Santry  T: 020 7467 1372  M: 07717 531150  E: csantry@tuc.org.uk
Alex Rossiter  T: 020 7467 1285  M: 07887 572130  E: arossiter@tuc.org.uk
Tim Nichols  T: 020 7467 1337  M: 07876 452902  E: tnichols@tuc.org.uk
Kay Atwal  T: 020 7467 1385  M: 07941 547469  E: katwal@tuc.org.uk


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