Britain’s largest union, Unite gave its backing to a statement issued by Airbus to its workforce asking them to back a ‘remain’ vote in the upcoming European Union referendum on 23 June.
Unite which has over 450,000 members in manufacturing and is calling on its 1.4 million members to back ‘remain’, said Airbus UK is right to highlight the likely risks and complications that a ‘leave’ vote would create to the aircraft maker’s business model and ‘modus operandi’.
Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing, said: “Representing over 450,000 manufacturing workers Unite understands only too well the dangers that would be associated with a vote to leave the European Union and its potential to put future investment decisions in serious doubt.
“Unite also recognises that UK workers derive significant benefits from European social and employment legislation that would immediately be lost if we voted to leave the EU. These include rights many of us take for granted, such as four weeks paid leave at average pay, parental leave, part time and temporary/agency worker protections, regulation of working hours, as well as anti-discrimination legislation and many others.
“Unite also recognises the critical role that the European Union has also played in securing peace in a continent that has historically been plagued with national and ethnic conflicts.
“Although Unite opposes the austerity and privatisation agenda that the EU has been following in recent years, we believe on balance that a vote to ‘remain’ will protect jobs and hard won rights, which is why we are urging our members to vote to ‘remain’ and push for change within a reformed European Union.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.