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Leaving Europe would protect jobs, says rail union

By Alan Jones

A leading rail union is advising its members to vote to leave the European Union to halt "attacks" on jobs and conditions.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union - which has a small membership in Northern Ireland - set out a series of arguments for Brexit, saying new EU rail policies were set to entrench rail privatisation, making it impossible to bring the industry back into public ownership.

The union added that the EU has promoted undercutting and social dumping, leading to the "decimation" of UK seafarers, and was developing a new policy framework to attack trade union rights, collective bargaining, job protections and wages.

Leaving the EU would put an end to austerity and halt the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement, said the RMT.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT is proud to stand up for the tradition of progressive and socialist opposition to the European Union, an organisation wedded to privatisation, austerity and attacking democracy.

"It would be frankly ludicrous for a union like ours to support staying in a bosses' club that seeks to ban the public ownership of our railways, attacks the shipping and offshore sectors and embraces the privatisation of the NHS and other essential services that our members depend on."

The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU) has said it will be campaigning in favour of staying in the EU after consulting members.

ICTU, which represents 34 unions, holds a delegate conference next Tuesday and Wednesday in Londonderry's City Hotel.

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