Friday, May 27, 2016

Referendum on Membership of the European Union - vote Leave

Friday 27 May 2016


Dear Colleagues,


Referendum on Membership of the European Union - vote Leave


With less than a month to go before the referendum on UK membership of the European Union, I am writing to you to outline the union's position. 


RMT policy on this matter was decided by rank and file members at the 2015 Annual General Meeting, and the union is campaigning for a Leave vote. 


I believe that a Leave vote is important in order for the union to continue to advance towards our objectives, and I have listed six reasons below why RMT believes you should vote Leave. 


1.    Leave the EU to end attacks on rail workers
New EU rail policies are set to further entrench rail privatisation and fragmentation. That will also mean more attacks or jobs and conditions and EU laws will make it impossible to bring all of rail back into public ownership.  

2.    Leave the EU to end attacks on seafarers and the offshore workers 
The EU has promoted undercutting and social dumping leading to the decimation of UK seafarers. The same is now happening in the offshore sector. EU directives also require the tendering our public ferry services. 

3.    Leave the EU to end attacks on workers' rights 
It's a myth that the EU is in favour of workers. In fact the EU is developing a new policy framework to attack trade union rights, collective bargaining, job protections and wages. This is already being enforced in countries which have received EU “bailouts”. 

4.    Leave the EU to end Austerity
If you join a union you expect members of the union to protect each other in times of trouble. The European Union has done the opposite. It has used the economic crisis to impose austerity and privatization on member states. Instead of protecting jobs and investment EU austerity is driving UK austerity.   

5.    Leave the EU to stop the attack on our NHS
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the United States will promote big business at the expense government protections and organisations including our NHS! Environmental regulations, employment rights, food safety, privacy laws and many other safeguards will also be secondary to the right of corporations to make even bigger profits.  

6.    Leave the EU to support democracy
The vast majority of the laws that affects our lives are now made in the EU and not the UK. We have no say over those Laws. As the late Tony Benn said in 1991… 

“We are discussing whether the British people are to be allowed to elect those who make the laws under which they are governed. The argument is nothing to do with whether we should get more maternity leave from Madame Papandreou [a European Commissioner].”


For further information please visit the links below:


The EU Debate a Trade Unionists' perspective:


Bob Crow on the EU in his own words.


If you have any queries regarding the union's campaign please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
General Secretary



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