The EU referendum campaign begins: Let’s put workers first
Bosses on both sides of the EU referendum debate seem to think their views are the only ones worth listening to. But working people don’t need lectures – we’ll be the best judge of what’s best for us and our families.
And with the vote fast approaching, the big question is – should we stay or should we go?
My main concern is what it means for people’s jobs and protection at work.
I’m not starry-eyed about the EU but the fact is that most of our rights at work come from membership.
So if the Brexit camp gets its way, who will guarantee mums and dads paid time off when the kids are sick or we want to take them on holiday? Or that part-time and agency workers get fair treatment?
It’ll be down to Tory ministers to pick and choose which rights we keep. And I don’t trust them to do that.
And what about manufacturing? Four million good jobs depend on trade with Europe. They wouldn’t all go, obviously – but with companies like Bombardier already under pressure it’s one hell of a gamble.
And if we left the EU it would be even easier for City fatcats to turn London into an offshore tax haven – maybe that’s why so many hedge funds are bankrolling the Leave campaign.
Of course David Cameron wants us to believe all our problems are caused by low-paid migrants. If you’re fit and able, you should only take out benefits when you’ve paid in. But if the PM really wanted to cut the benefit bill he’d stop attacking unions and make skinflint employers pay a fair wage in the first place.
Everyone will make up their own mind up how to vote. But remember, with the Tories in power, if you put your cross in the wrong place, you risk kissing goodbye to jobs and vital rights at work.