Communist Party chair Liz Payne has criticised EU supporters in the labour movement for »talking as though the working class are passive victims who rely on a bountiful EU for their rights«.
»Our trade unions and Labour governments fought for the right to join a union, collective bargaining, the right to strike, equal pay, maternity rights and health and safety at work – they weren’t granted to us by the European Commission or the European Central Bank«, she told her party’s political committee on Thirsday evening.
She pointed to France, Belgium and Italy where employment and trade union rights were under attack, as well as Britain, and predicted that anyone who told workers in thouse countries that the EU defends them would be ‘jeered off the platform’.
Ms Payne, a trades council secretary and long-time Unison activist, and also rejected claims by past and present TUC leaders that Britain’s exit from the EU would lead to the wholesale scrapping of workers’ rights. »Who is going to carry out such an epic assault – a hopelessly divided Tory government fighting half of its parliamentary party, most of big business including the City of London, as well as the EU-IMF-NATO axis?«, she asked, adding that the labour movement would not ‘run up the white flag’ contrary to the predictions of pessimists and defeatists.
Britain’s communists also warned that many of the policies pursued by a left-led Labour government would face sabotage and punishment in accordance with the two basic EU treaties. »Public ownership to rescue or invest in strategic enterprises and industries, so-called ›people’s quantitative easing‹, large-scale government borrowing even at low interest rates, substantial cuts in VAT and the direction of capital are all unlawful under EU rules«, Ms Payne pointed out.
In particular, she highlighted decisions of the EU Court of Justice in the Viking, Laval, Ruffert and Luxembourg cases which ban trade union or regional and national government action to enforce equal employment terms for ‘super-exploited’ imported workers. »This is how ruthless monopolies and gangmasters use ›free movement of labour‹ in the EU to drive down the wages and conditions of all workers«, Ms Payne argued.
The CP political committee congratulated Lexit the Left Leave Campaign on its work putting the left-wing, labour movement and anti-imperiliast case against the EU and urged a big working class vote for »Leave« on June 23.
Source: Communist Party of Britain / RedGlobe