UNITE the union welcomes the statement made today by Chief executives and directors of some of the UK's top engineering firms concerning the huge potential damage to the aector should the UK vote to leave the EU in the coming referendum on the 23rd June.
UNITE has thoudands of members in many of the companies that issued the stayement, and the position of supporting a vote to remain in the European Union on June 23rd is one fully shared and supported by UNITE.
UNITE understands only too well the dangers that would be associated with a vote to leave the European Union and that it could plunge the the UK’s engineering industry into uncertainty, placing future investment in this sector on serious doubt. UNITE is in no doubt that a leave vote could severely weaken the UKs influence in global engineering standards and its access to markets.
UNITE also shares the concerns of these companies that a leave vote will exacerbate the already considerable UK skills shortage in this sector and significantly put at risk research funding in Engineering and Science in Britain.
In addition to the obvious issues surrounding investment and long term security of engineering in the UK, UNITE also clearly recognises that UK workers derive enormous benefits from EU social legislation that would immediately be lost – such as the right to four weeks paid leave, parental leave provisions, part time and temporary/agency worker protections, anti-discrimination legislation, rights to information and consultation at national and European level, and many others.
Finally, UNITE understands and recognises the critical role that the European Union has played in securing peace in a continent that has historically been plagued with national and ethnic conflicts.
On this basis, although UNITE fully opposes the austerity and privatisation agenda that the EU has been following in recent years, on balance the union is absolutely clear in recommending its’ members to vote ‘Remain’ and to continue to push for change within a reformed European Union.