We insist that jobs, supply chains, standards and worker’s rights are protected for all workers and we will continue to hold both the UK and EU-27 to account. European trade unions stand united in fighting for the highest social and employment standards for all workers. We will not sit back and let the UK sacrifice workers in a race to the bottom.
The industriAll Europe Executive Committee, it is virtual meeting today, has issued a statement calling for a future EU/UK deal that puts workers, in both the EU and the UK, first.
Now that the UK has left the EU, and official negotiations have begun, European trade unions must stand together in solidarity to fight for good working conditions and standards for all workers. A race to the bottom in workers’ rights must be prevented at all costs.
In its statement, industriAll Europe thus makes the following demands on the UK and EU Governments:
- A deal that puts workers, in both the EU and the UK, first.
- Tariff-free trade which is as frictionless as possible outside of the EU single market and the Custom Union.
- Full compatibility of (safety, environmental and other) requirements placed on products and processes to ensure fair competition, as well as a coordinated approach regarding carbon pricing schemes applied to industry.
- Protection of health and safety legislation, of social legislation and of information and consultation rights, for all European workers, in the EU and the UK.
- Both Parties to ensure close cooperation in relevant fields of mutual interest (e.g. research, energy and cross channel industrial supply chains).
- The strengthening of the likelihood of a level playing field by ensuring that:
- The non-regression clause is extended to the whole EU social acquis.
- The UK keeps pace with the EU in any future improvements in employment or social standards
- The CJEU remains the sole arbitrator of union law and its rulings should be referred to in cases of social and employment standards.
- The place of work principle (guarantee of the same pay for the same work in the same place) is applied.
Social Partners have a genuine role in both the monitoring and the enforcement of the Withdrawal Agreement including the power to submit official complaints.
Full transparency of the negotiation process including the involvement of Social Partners from the beginning of the negotiations.
Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary said:
“It has been clear from the start, Brexit will have a devastating impact on workers in both the UK and the EU-27. The manufacturing and industrial sectors, and their complex supply chains, will be particularly hard hit. The UK has refused to extend the transition period and time is running out. The pressure is now on the UK take responsibility for their decision. We insist that jobs, supply chains, standards and worker’s rights are protected for all workers and we will continue to hold both the UK and EU-27 to account. It is unacceptable for workers in the UK to lose their hard fought for workers’ rights, and European trade unions stand united in fighting for the highest social and employment standards for all workers. We will not sit back and let the UK sacrifice workers in a race to the bottom.’’
Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley, press and communication