from the Communist Party today
‘Why are senior Labour politicians so desperate to rubbish the past achievements of trade unions and Labour governments?’ Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths asked his party’s political committee on Wednesday evening.
In arguing the case for Britain remaining in the European Union, they seem to attribute almost all PAST progressive reforms in the workplace to the EU, he pointed out.
‘It’s as though all the industrial action and mass campaigning for trade union recognition, collective bargaining rights, the right to strike, equal pay for women, a national minimum wage and higher standards of health and safety never happened’, Robert Griffiths remarked.
‘Did not Labour governments pass the Employment Protection Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act, the National Minimum Wage Act, the Trade Union Act and much else besides?’ he asked, noting that EU treaties expressly prohibit any EU action to enforce trade union recognition, the right to strike or a statutory minimum wage.
The Communist Party leader also accused leading labour movement figures of ‘keeping shtum’ about a series of anti-worker and and anti-trade union judgments from the European Court of Justice.
‘Again, it as though the EU court rulings outlawing industrial action and national legislation to enforce equal treatment for imported or “posted” workers have never happened – even though the British and European TUCs had plenty to say against them before the referendum campaign began’..
Britain’s communists reject the ‘erroneous and defeatist view’ that EU membership somehow guarantees protection against the erosion of trade union and employment rights.
‘The EU has never lifted a finger to protect workers against anti-trade union laws, because its priority is to support big business, austerity and privatisation across the continent’, the Communist Party political committee declared.
‘Whatever the result on June 23, workers and their unions in Britain as elsewhere will have to continue relying on their own strength and solidarity’, it concluded.
The Communist Party urged full support for LEXIT – the Left Leave campaign, welcoming the efforts of the RMT and Aslef unions, the Indian Workers Association (GB), the Bangladeshi Workers Council (UK), Counterfire, the Socialist Workers Party and other bodies against EU membership.