Letter in the Manchester Evening News-
Bill Flynn’s excellent letter (‘Nothing new in risk to rights of workers’, Viewpoints, MEN, 2nd January) gives a compelling and enraging account of the way workers’ rights have been eroded over the last 40 years.Thanks to the first-past-the-post voting system and the ownership of the mass media by billionaire tax-exiles, the major parties have been united in this assault on a civilised society.
Mr Flynn though, says that the EU “did not lift a finger to do anything about it.” This is not true: I distinctly remember the European Working Time Directive of 2003, and the way the Blair Government insisted on (and got) an opt-out. I dimly remember the European Social Chapter and the Major government opting out of it too.
These were not perfect. The EU was not perfect. Those are facts, just like this scary fact- We are now out of the EU and stuck on an island with disaster capitalists eyeing up the last shreds of legal protection keeping them from a return to “Victorian values” – an end to pesky environmental regulations, health and safety regulations (chlorinated chicken for dinner, anyone) and a bonfire of workers’ rights.
The questions around who would take back which controls are now being answered.