GMB say government must take action for EU workers

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GMB calls on UK government to “take action” to end uncertainty for EU workers.

It’s wrong – and dangerous for the economy – for the government to keep these workers and their families in limbo says GMB

GMB has called on the UK government to put an end to the uncertainty faced by European workers living in the UK following the result of the EU referendum vote on Thursday, 23rd of June 2016. (See notes to editors for a GMB press release on the EU referendum result).

The UK government has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living and working in the UK, a position that has been criticised by a number of MPs. In an open letter today (Monday, 5th July 2016), business groups including the British Chambers of Commerce, CBI and the Federation of Small Business raised concerns about the impact of the referendum result on EU nationals.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said “Thousands of working people from across the EU have built lives here. Their kids were born and go to school here. Many of our public services rely on EU workers to function. It’s wrong – and dangerous for the economy – for the government to keep these workers and their families in limbo.

We call for immediate action from both government and business to tackle the rise in hate crime and racism, to tackle the issue of undercutting and the exploitation of migrant workers which drives a wedge in so many communities, to guarantee that employers pay the rate for the job ensuring equal pay for equal work, and to give assurances to thousands of people that their homes and livelihoods aren’t at risk.”


Contact: GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691

Notes to editors

1 GMB press release dated Friday, June 24, 2016

GMB calls for urgent action to protect jobs and workplace rights as Britain votes for Brexit

The government needs to act straight away to secure jobs and keep the economy moving says GMB.

GMB General Secretary Tim Roache called for urgent government action today to protect jobs in the wake of the Brexit vote, as well as an immediate commitment from government that it will act to protect the rights of working people. (See notes to editors for a link to a Huffington Post article from Tim Roache).

GMB had urged its 640,000 members to vote to remain in the EU to protect the workers’ rights that the union had fought for – such as the right to guaranteed holiday pay, maternity leave and a raft of health and safety legislation, as well as jobs and industries that rely on the EU.

The vote to leave the EU puts at risk all rights guaranteed by EU legislation, as the country heads into unchartered waters, with the economic shock of the vote holding potential for another economic crash.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said “We’re in uncharted waters. The government needs to act straight away to secure jobs and keep the economy moving – too many working people are still carrying the can for the last economic crash, they can ill afford another one.

What happens next cannot be the preserve of a government elected with 37% of the vote or potentially a Prime Minister who was never elected at all. The British people have spoken, many of them frustrated with business as usual, choosing to leave the EU because of the impacts of the flexible labour market and the pursuit of free trade above all else.

Our place in the world cannot be one based on a Tory Party free-for-all, free market philosophy. A race to the bottom which prioritises the removal of trade barriers and the flexible labour market above all else will fail working people and the very voters who made their decision yesterday.

The Prime Minister must act now, on a cross party basis, to heal and represent the whole county. Not just the rifts in his Party. That means an urgent plan to protect jobs and a guarantee that no workplace rights will face the axe.”