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Brexit 'a big risk for everyone who works for a living', union warns

Published 07/04/2016

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the EU guaranteed workers' rights that generations of trade unionists had fought for
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the EU guaranteed workers' rights that generations of trade unionists had fought for

Workers could lose many "hard-won" rights and face years of uncertainty if the UK votes to leave the European Union, according to a new report.

A legal study for the TUC found that paid holidays, protections for agency workers, health and safety measures and compensation rates would be at risk from Brexit.

Workers would also no longer be able to take cases to the European Court of Justice, a legal opinion by Michael Ford QC said.

A vote to leave could lead to a lengthy transition in which the government could pick and chose which EU rights to dilute or scrap, it was claimed.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Voting to leave the EU is a big risk for everyone who works for a living.

"Brexit would mean working people are haunted by years of uncertainty, as rights like paid holiday, parental leave and equal treatment for part-timers and contract workers could be stripped away over time.

"The EU guarantees these rights, but generations of trade unionists fought for them.

"If we lose them because of Brexit, it could take generations to get them back again.

"The biggest cheerleaders for Brexit think that your protections at work are just red tape to be binned.

"Bad bosses will be rubbing their hands with glee if Brexit gives them the chance to cut workers' hard-won protections."

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From Belfast Telegraph