From the TUC

Repatriation would hit workers across Europe

28 Jan 2013, by in International

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is holding a conference in Madrid today to celebrate its 40th anniversary and to launch its campaign against austerity and for workers’ rights. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will make her first speech on Europe, and she’ll use it not only to attack the Coalition’s own austerity measures but also to urge unions across the EU to join the TUC’s campaign against his policy of repatriating EU workers’ rights.

Frances won’t just be calling for solidarity from our colleagues across Europe. She’ll be arguing that what David Cameron is actually proposing goes further than just opting out of the EU social model so that British workers can be forced to work longer for less, sacked at will, and treated as unfairly as their boss wants. She’ll argue that this could undermine the social model in every other European country and may even be used as an excuse by neoliberal politicians everywhere to dismantle their own social models.

So Frances will be calling on the European trade union movement to turn the Tory Europe strategy on its head, turn it into a campaign of solidarity across Europe, not just a little local difficulty. Just as the austerity policies being practiced in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are being reproduced elsewhere in Europe, we believe that the Coalition attack on workers’ rights in Britain (which began as an attack on UK rights such as qualifying periods for unfair dismissal, the Agricultural Wages Board and compensation for industrial injuries) is now being turned into an attack on EU-derived rights across the EU.

2 Responses to Repatriation would hit workers across Europe

  1. John
    Jan 29th 2013, 2:32 am

    A personal comment: Reading between the lines on this concerning article, it historically reminds me of the bad situation in the late 1920´s & early to mid 1930´s. When many workers were treated as a ´hiring fair´, to hire & fire at will! Is this what Cameron, Osbourne, the tory right & right wing management really want? To drive working people down to the depths of almost begging for work! If so then be very very aware. You can only go so far………….. On that thinking the tipping point is now getting very close.

    I sincerely wish the TUC in Madrid more than good luck with this.

  2. Owen Tudor

    Owen Tudor
    Jan 29th 2013, 8:33 am

    John, thanks for that: yes, I think that’s what they mean by a flexible workforce – for many people, right back to the 1930s when my granddad paid for a tray of bread in the morning, sold door to door, and if he didn’t sell it all, that was his loss. Sounds like Nairobi. Actually, Cardiff.