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Labour On EU Renegotiations

Monday, September 28, 2015

Labour Conference Pledges To Defend EU Employment Rights And Not To Campaign With Tories In EU Referendum

How could we expect our members and working people to understand why we, would work alongside those who propose weakening or removing their rights says GMB.

A GMB motion to the Labour Party Conference was included in a composite that was debated and carried at the Conference this morning (28th September).  See notes to editors for copy of the composite motion and a copy of speech by Paul Kenny moving that motion,

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary moving the motion, said “now we are going to have to justify to voters our continuous membership of the EU. This is not going to be easy.

Free movement of labour has become the right to exploit workers in one member state by employment of people through the now notorious umbrella agencies, to work in another member state, at wages 25 per cent or even 50 per cent of the market rate.

Not the vision of raising living standards for all but pure naked exploitation.

And now on top of this a British Prime Minister,  has been creeping his way around other Europeans,  offering up, even begging for, those people working in Britain to have employment and social rights taken away.

And frankly people in our own party by blindly embracing a Europe at any price, merely encourage Cameron and the CBI to push for even more attacks on working people.

It is a ridiculous and stupid suggestion that we, as a movement, facing vicious attacks on trade union and democratic freedoms, as well as moves to destroy the funding base of our party, could possibly know all that but campaign alongside those who attack our very existence.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour Leader in Scotland said yesterday that she would fight to stay in Europe.  Well unless we have learned nothing that fight will not be alongside the Tories!!

How could we expect our members and working people to understand why we, would work alongside those who propose weakening or removing their rights.”

End

Contact: Kathleen Walker Shaw 07841 181 549 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237 178 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880.

Notes to editors:

1 ) Copy of composite motion to 2015 Labour Party Conference:

Composite 1 – Europe

Conference notes that earlier this month David Cameron gave agreement to appear before the European Parliament to promote this government’s agenda for EU reform. Conference expresses concern about the House of Lords EU Committee report which said that David Cameron has cooked up ‘recipe for confusion’ with his EU renegotiation plans.

Conference expresses further alarm that David Cameron is putting his party before his country in Europe by sleepwalking toward exit from the EU, risking jobs and growth at home and British influence abroad.

Conference supports the membership of the EU as a strategic as well as an economic asset to Britain and the Labour Party approve of UK membership of the EU.

Conference recognises that in an era of billion-person countries, the EU gives us influence that we do not have when we act alone. On so many issues that matter ‘security in central Europe and the Middle East’ the EU is a voice amplifier for all its members including the UK.

Furthermore Conference recognises that our membership of the EU means companies can sell to a market of 500 million people, employees are provided additional rights and protections in the workplace and every one across the UK has the freedom to travel, lice, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU.

Conference deplores the actions of the Prime Minister and his attempts to rob workers in the UK of the vital social and employee rights gained from membership of the European Union.

Conference recognises that the erosion of social rights and the TTIP proposals will bring conflict to the heart of the referendum debate. Conference understands the importance of returning to a vision of a Social Europe without which membership of the European Union fails to deliver good jobs and services for all.

Conference opposes working with any campaign or faction in the forthcoming Referendum which supports or advocates cutting employment or social rights for people working in the United Kingdom.

Conference recognises that Europe needs change, but notes that the path to reform is working with our allies across Europe rather than providing an ultimatum in the way that David Cameron has been. Conference calls on the Government to present Parliament with a detailed account of their negotiating demands in advance of addressing the European Parliament.

Conference proposes that 16/17 year olds should be eligible to vote in the forthcoming European referendum. Conference calls for us to work together towards a Europe that works better for Britain with reforms helping to deliver a Europe focused on jobs and growth, not more austerity.

Mover: GMB

Seconder: Liverpool Riverside CLP

2 Copy of speech by Paul Kenny to Labour Party Conference 28 September 2015

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary

Composite 1

Let me start my remarks and concerns by heaping praise on Glynis Wilmott and our Labour MEPS who have worked tirelessly to try and uphold and rebuild the vision upon which the EU was conceived, because that Europe, one based on a balance between business and economic opportunities and a social agenda that was all about delivering improved working lives for all eu citizens.

In short, an agreement and consensus that people had as much right to benefit from EU free markets as business and global corporations.

The social chapter was a good example of attempts to strike that balance.

And what did the Tories do, opt us out!

It took a Labour Government to give those social rights to the working people of the UK.

And don’t us let anyone forget that!!

And now we are going to have to justify to voters our continuous membership of the EU.

This is not going to be easy.

Free movement of labour has become the right to exploit workers in one member state by employment of people through the now notorious umbrella agencies, to work in another member state, at wages 25 per cent or even 50 per cent of the market rate.

Not the vision of raising living standards for all but pure naked exploitation.

And now on top of this a British Prime Minister,  has been creeping his way around other Europeans,  offering up, even begging for, those people working in Britain to have employment and social rights taken away.

A British Prime Minister selling out his own people.

A sickening and disgraceful sight. 

And frankly, people in our own party.  By blindly embracing a Europe at any price, merely encourage Cameron and the CBI to push for even more attacks on working people.

It is a ridiculous and stupid suggestion that we, as a movement, facing vicious attacks on trade union and democratic freedoms, as well as moves to destroy the funding base of our party, could possibly know all that but campaign alongside those who attack our very existence.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour Leader in Scotland said yesterday that she would fight to stay in Europe.  Well unless we have learned nothing that fight will not be alongside the Tories!!

How could we expect our members and working people to understand why we, would work alongside those who propose weakening or removing their rights.

Tories will put the interests of money and exploitation first!

Always have always will.

Labour has to remember in whose interest we were founded to promote.

To promote the, the clue is in the name of our party!

Finally we must demand that 16 and 17 year olds have a vote in the referendum.

It is their future as well as ours and would be a positive sign that this party does value and listen to the voice of young people.

On Cameron

·         Tory plot / Mail / Ashcroft

·         Real story

·         Cash for cabinet office

·         Whether porkies were told to house of lords

·         Ashcroft’s non dom status

Be clear - without a social agenda disillusionment with Europe will grow.

Let’s campaign with those who share our values not those who would destroy them.

 

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