Union gets ready for Brexit by supporting its members
The Workers Union general secretary Colin Mahoney has announced that his main focus over the next four weeks will be to help secure the rights of workers in the post-Brexit world.
The announcement comes in response to remarks made by the government’s chief negotiator with the EU, David Frost, about the desirability of retaining EU workers’ rights in UK law when Britain leaves the bloc on the 31st of October.
Mr Frost, whose CV includes a spell as chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was appointed at the end of July by new premier Boris Johnson to replace predecessor Olly Robins. Comments reproduced on the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry website, indicate that he is against moves towards what he describes as additional regulation of the labour market.
“Business organisations have often in the past criticised the EU’s drift towards heavy labour market regulation, so I will take some persuading it will be a good outcome if the EU is able to set new UK labour market rules without any UK say – as currently seems to be envisaged by the leaders of both major political parties.”
His comments appear to be aimed squarely at the negotiating position of the previous government, who, in a last-minute bid to encourage wavering Labour MPs to back Teresa May’s withdrawal agreement, committed to retaining existing levels of EU workers’ rights as well allowing parliament to be given automatic votes on alignment with EU law if any major changes are made post-Brexit.
Speaking about the situation, Mr Mahoney was adamant that a fair and equitable position should be at the heart of the government’s thinking: “As someone who grapples with the fallout of bad employment practices every day of my working life, I know very well what our members are going through right now. We represent the guys that don’t have pots of money to protect themselves and don’t always feel confident enough to stick their hands up when something is going wrong. The fact that we now appear to be heading at breakneck speed towards the no-deal cliff-edge means low-paid workers, employees on zero-contract hours, part-time workers etc. are all looking over their shoulders and worrying about what that means for them.
I can’t predict the future; but what I can say with confidence is that staff at The Workers Union will be leveraging all their influence, expertise and contacts in government to ensure that workers the length and breadth of our country get a deal that protects their rights.”
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The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union