Brexit: unions gear up for battle for interests of working people in EU & UK

Trade union leaders, meeting today in London to discuss the next steps for the EU and the UK after the Brexit referendum, agreed 

  • “negotiations on Brexit …. should not undermine the foundation of the European Union: a single market based on free movement and commonly applied rules that protect workers, consumers and the environment”;
  • “there should be no postponement or suspension of action to create a fairer and more equal Europe, to create more and better jobs, to re-balance economic governance with strong social and progressive fiscal policies”;
  • The EU needs “to deliver on sustainable growth, quality jobs and hope for the future” and end austerity if it is to tackle the “anger and disillusionment of voters”, which the leaders note “is not confined to the UK”;
  • "The EU must be relaunched with reforms that promote transparency, democracy, equality and decent working and living standards for all". 

They specifically call for “more urgency and commitment” in advancing initiatives including the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and of the participation of trade unions and employers in European economic and social policy-making.
On migrant workers, the leaders “call for national governments and the EU to tackle the root causes of local people’s concerns” including “action to stop wage undercutting and ensure that workers doing the same job, in the same workplace, get the same pay” 
ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said “The European trade union movement is determined to promote and protect the interests of working people through the negotiations on a new relationship between the EU and the UK. We will follow the negotiations closely together with the TUC.”   
Taking part in the meeting were trade union leaders including from UK, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, Slovakia, and Finland, plus European trade unions.   

For full ETUC statement on next steps after the UK referendum see