Date: 22 April 2009
Euro candidates must restore working people’s rights - UNISON
UNISON, Scotland’s largest public service union, today called
on Euro election candidates to back campaigns to overturn negative
European legal rulings and restore the human rights of working
people, following the approval by the Scottish TUC in Perth of
a composite moved by the RMT union.
The composite calls for a ‘Social Progress Protocol’ to be inserted
into the Lisbon Treaty – to hold employers to national collective
agreements and to back the right to strike.
Jane Carolan, from UNISON’s National Executive announced that
UNISONScotland had released a European election manifesto, which
calls for a range of measures to be introduced to defend workers
rights, and is calling on Scottish members to judge the policies
of the political parties on a range of issues – workers rights,
the environment, anti-racism and others - before they cast their
Jane said “Recent decisions of the European Court of Justice
have asserted the primacy of the economic freedom of business
and undermined national labour law and collective agreements.
The Viking, Laval, Ruffert and Luxembourg judgements have made
clear that the market rules, and that public services and employment
and collective rights are therefore always under attack.
“Unless we defend our rights we will end up in a Europe in which
capital roams free and where labour is cheap, plentiful and unprotected
– neo liberalism writ large.
“The European Trade movement needs to develop teeth to deal
with a capitalist system fighting for its own survival and one
that has already proved that it has little truck with the problems
of working people.”
Note for editors: The Viking judgement said that the collective
action by the Trade Unions contravened Article 43 of the EU Treaty.
The right of business to freedom of establishment anywhere in
the EU. In Laval, the collective action of trade unions was deemed
to be in breach of business freedom to provide services within
another EU state. The same considerations apply in Ruffert and
Luxembourg. UNISON’s European manifesto is available on the UNISON-Scotland
website www.unison-scotland.org.uk or from Chris Bartter (below)
For Further Information and contact with Jane Carolan
please Contact: Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558
3729(m) Diane Anderson (Information Development Officer) 07931