Tuesday, 26 April 2016
UNISON is to campaign for the UK to stay part of the European Union, and will be encouraging its 1.3 million members to vote remain on 23 June.
The decision was taken today (Wednesday) at a meeting of the union’s governing NEC, and follows an extensive UK-wide consultation and survey across UNISON’s branches.
The fear that Brexit would mean the loss of the many workplace rights – parental leave, paid holiday, protection for part-timers and limits on excessive hours – that UK employees have come to take for granted is the most important issue in the coming referendum, according to UNISON’s overwhelmingly female membership.
Concern over what might happen to those employment rights should the UK vote to leave the EU was closely followed by worries about the plight of the country’s public services if Britain opted to go it alone.
In the consultative survey, almost four in five (78%) of UNISON branches wanted the union to take a stance in the EU referendum. Of these, the overwhelming majority (95%) wanted UNISON to campaign for the UK to stay in Europe.
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