Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

‘Trade Unionists Against the EU’ defends “Indigenous workers” against “Cheap Foreign Labour”.

with 5 comments


Local Workers Excluded from Being Able to Provide for Families by EU ‘shunting’ people around Europe. 

The Daily Express (May 25th) reports.

…hitting back today campaign group Trade Unionists Against the EU (TUAEU) nailed the “delusion being promoted by some that we should remain in the EU to transform it”.

Director Enrico Tortolano said: “One of the bizarre features of the pro-EU campaign is its spreading of the lie that the EU can be reformed and transformed into paradise on earth. The reality is that the EU is reform proof.

“As these states lurch to the right and the EU gives itself up further to the demands of the corporations, the delusion of reformability looks even more ridiculous and flies in the face of the brutal realities being challenged by trade unionists forced to take the streets in Belgium, France and Greece this week.”

Patriotic trade unionists have launched a campaign to get Britain out of the EU and are urging ordinary workers to look at the “constitutional reality” of the 28-nation bloc rather than believing Mr Cameron’s spin doctors.

This is what campaign leader Enrico Tortolono  says about the free movement of labour (Trade Unionists Against the EU):

Moreover EU rules demanding the complete free movement of labour have had a profound impact on all trade unions operating within the EU.

Following the accession of eastern European states to the EU, migrant labour has been rapidly moving west while capital and manufacturing jobs are moving east.

While western European countries experiencing a large influx of migrant labour, eastern European states are suffering population falls and an inevitable brain drain, leading to a loss of skilled labour and young people as well as an uncertain future of underdevelopment.

In more developed member states, wages have been under pressure in many sectors in a process known as ‘social dumping’, as cheap foreign labour replaces the indigenous workforce and trade union bargaining power is severely weakened.

A campaign to Leave the EU based on the defence of the “indigenous workforce” against “cheap foreign labour” is no doubt welcomed by the Daily Express.

This is another Express story (today):

Boris: Voting to stay in the EU means ‘kissing goodbye’ to controlling immigration

BRITAIN can “kiss goodbye” to any chance of controlling its borders if it stays in the EU, Brexit campaigners said yesterday.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 27, 2016 at 10:38 am

5 Responses

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  1. “In more developed member states, wages have been under pressure in many sectors in a process known as ‘social dumping’, as cheap foreign labour replaces the indigenous workforce and trade union bargaining power is severely weakened.”

    This is complete true. What’s your problem with it?

    There’s something seriously wrong with Trots.

    If you’re REALLY on the side of the workers, you should vote out.
    Grassroots OUT!


    May 27, 2016 at 11:08 pm

  2. This emphasises the fundamental racism of the “left” anti-EU stance. The socialist response to the “cheap labour” argument is to organise workers into trade unions, not to erect barriers. This is a-b-c stuff for socialists, but not it seems for the nationalist idiots of “Trade Unionists Against the EU” /CAEF/”Lexit”, etc, etc.

    Jim Denham

    May 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

  3. Absolutely Jim and there is this.

    From SJ – a greatly respected authority on labour relations now living in Paris.

    ” I have analysed the impact of 19 EU social directives on British workers’ rights (missing out only the more detailed health and safety regulations). Sadly, in part because they were designed not to strengthen workers’ organisations, and in part because of the way they have been transposed by Tory and New Labour governments (New Labour insisted in 2000 when transposing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights that it did not extend any ‘social or economic’ rights to British workers they did not already possess), they are thin gruel. But the consequences of their being torn down in a Farage, Johnson, Gove, Le Pen ‘bonfire of regulations’ would be disastrous.
    Here they are in chronological order with the UK transposition and comment on their impact following.

    Equal Pay
    1986/378/EEC Very little. The content of the Directives had either already been passed, or were introduced simultaneously: Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1983 (1794), Sex Discrimination Act 1986. Gender pay inequality averages 16.4% across the EU and 19.1% in the UK.
    Transfer of Undertakings
    2001/23/EC 1981 Regulations (1794) and subsequent amendments: 1987 (422); Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993; Regulations in 1995 (2587); 1999 (1925); 2006 (246) and 2014 (16). TUPE was referred to by many British trade unions in negotiating transition from nationalized to private sector industries.
    2002/74/EC 1996 UK Employment Rights Act (ERA) included protection for employees.
    2003/10/EC 1989 Regulations introduced in UK; new 2005 Regulations (1643) included a reduction in the threshold for hearing and protection, and introduced a daily exposure limit value as well as a permitted weekly value. In 2010 a successful prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive led to a £16,000 fine on the employer.
    Work Equipment
    2007/30/EC 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act already covered some aspects, but since then nearly all further protections have been initiated at EU level. The Directives made what employers must do more explicit: 1992 Regulations replaced by 1998 (PUWER) Regulations (2306); Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, placing a duty on employers to assess and manage risks to their employees.
    Maternity rights
    1992/85/EEC First implementation was in 1999 Regulations (3312). Minimum Directive rights of at least 14 weeks maternity leave were extended to give entitlement to 26 weeks by 2002 Regulations (2789) and to 39 weeks with optional 52 weeks in 2006 Regulations (2379).
    Working Time
    2003/88/EC 1998 Regulations: maximum average of 48 hours a week over 17 weeks, but workers over 17 can sign opt-out, often incorporated in employment contract, and hundreds of thousands not included (eg domestic workers, security workers and managers). It specified right to paid annual holiday for the first time.
    Protection of young people
    1994/33/EC 1998 Regulations: amended 1933 Children and Young Person’s Act: children to have at least 2 weeks free from work during school holidays; 13-year-olds to work only in jobs specified in local authority byelaws; Saturday working hours to be restricted; rest requirements added. 2000 regulation made it illegal to allow children 10-13 to work in agriculture for their parents; limited children to 12 hours a week while at school.
    European Works Councils
    1997/74/EC 1999 Regulations (3323): By 2008 113 UK headquartered companies estimated to operate EWCs out of 265 that could potentially fall within scope of Directive. Overall, the Directive probably enables around 3,000 British trade unionists to meet their EU counterparts once or more rarely twice a year. Although these are very very small numbers, and the EWCs have no authority to bargain or reach agreements, the meetings may be making workplace-based British trade unionists less isolationist and less xenophobic.
    Data Protection 1995/46/EC 1998 Data Protection Act; 2000 Freedom of Information Act. Led to establishment of Information Commissioner’s Office. Its one physical raid in the UK on The Consulting Association in 2009 exposed the continuing existence of blacklisting of construction industry trade unionists.
    Parental Leave
    Social partner D 1996/46/EC
    1999 Regulations (3312) and 2002 Regulations (2789). Then extended in compliance with 2010 Directive in 2013 Regulations (283). Neither the two week maximum male entitlement nor 2014 Shared Parental Leave Regulations (3050) are taken up by significant numbers because of low or no pay, or lack of information.
    Posted Workers
    2014/67/EU ‘Government does not propose to introduce further monitoring and compliance requirements…Government believes that imposing further requirements is likely to impose additional costs on the employer’ (July 2015)
    Part-time Work
    Social partner D
    1997/81/EC 2000 Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (1551)
    Collective redundancies
    1998/59/EC TULRCA 1992 already required collective consultation on 20+ redundancies possible within one workplace within 90 days. EU Court of Justice confirmed Directive could be interpreted as applying in a single workplace in April 2015, making redundancies easier in multi-site businesses like retail chains. For all redundancies, Redundancy Payments Service must be notified 30 days in advance (20-99 workers) or 45 days in advance (100+ workers)
    Fixed-term Work
    Social partner D
    1999/70/EC Unfair dismissal of temporary workers who were continuously re-employed was already regulated by 1996 Employment Rights Act (ERA). The Directive was partially implemented in the UK by 2002 Regulations (2034), which do not cover all workers, but only ‘employees’.
    Race Equality
    2000/34/EC UK’s 1976 Race Relations Act largely implemented the Directive. When amended by Regulations (1626) in 2003 it included indirect discrimination, added the offence of harassment and most significantly, reversed the burden of proof in Employment Tribunals from the complainant to the employer (who now has to disprove discrimination). The amendments did not implement the Directive’s requirement that social dialogue take place to jointly tackle the problem.
    Employment Equality
    2000/78/EC 1995 UK passed Disability Discrimination Act; 2003 Employment Equality Regulations implemented Directive on Sexual Orientation (1661) and Religion or Belief (1660); in 2006 Regulations on Age (1031).
    EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
    2000 1998 Human Rights Act incorporated most but not all of European Convention on Human Rights. UK claimed it had negotiated an ‘opt-out’ from the implementation of the Charter in areas not covered by EU law. The UK Blair government opposed making social and economic rights justiciable.
    Information and Consultation 2002/14/EC 2004 Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (3426).
    No impact, 2004-2011, on 13/14% share of workplaces with formal consultative committees.”

    Andrew Coates

    May 28, 2016 at 11:36 am

  4. That would appear to be pretty definitive: thanks to you and ‘SJ’, Andrew!

    Jim Denham

    May 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Redvince's Weblog.


    May 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm

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