Unite Wales will campaign for the UK to REMAIN in the ...

Unite Wales will campaign for the UK to REMAIN in the EU as the best hope for workers

23 May 2016

It comes as the union’s 63 strong UK executive council, drawn from workplaces across the UK, agreed continuing membership is still the best hope for the jobs and rights of Britain’s workers.

Commenting ahead of the referendum, Unite Wales secretary Andy Richards said:  “This referendum is an opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to put this argument to bed. The vote will be perhaps one of the most profound political decisions of my lifetime.”

“Our job now is to make sure people understand and realise the benefits of our membership.”

“In 1975, I was working at a Swiss-owned foundry in Neath. Back then, I voted ‘Yes’ to Europe because I believed it would secure the best outcome for me, my family, my work colleagues and for future generations. A lot of things have changed since then, for sure. This time, the stakes are higher but the questions that each voter asks themselves will, I believe, be exactly the same:

“What’s best for me and my family, what’s best for Wales, what sort of country do I want the UK to be in the future?

“I know that this referendum is going to be tough. In the face of all that’s going on around the country and across Europe, we’ve got to convince our members and the public that staying in Europe is the best option. That will be tough, but I know we can do it.

“In Wales, we know we get more money back from the EU than what we put in. That means a total investment of over £3.6 billion since 2007 as well as the creation of over 11,900 enterprises and 34,700 jobs. It also means helping over 64,700 people into work and over 204,100 to gain qualifications.

“For me, there are two main reasons for remaining in the EU – jobs and rights”

“Companies invest in Wales and other parts of the UK to have tariff free access to a market of 500 million people. Over 190,000 Welsh Jobs rely directly upon EU funding. That’s around 3.1 million jobs across the UK.

“We’re quite used it by now. We hear Nigel Farage, the leave campaign and other Ukip MEPs say that 75 per cent of our laws come from Brussels. In reality, this figure is more like 8-10 per cent.

“Four weeks paid leave per year, time off for urgent family reasons, protection for workers from discrimination or harassment, stronger rights for disabled people to win equal treatment and parental leave. All of these from a long list of protections, thanks to the EU.

“My union will be urging its members and the wider public to vote jobs, vote rights, vote remain on 23 June.”