Admittedly, the following is not a new finding, but it be repeated with the example of the Brexit clearly showing that it also applies to the United Kingdom:
the Labour Party and the trade unions
are on the wrong side …
23 OCTOBER 2019
« Mr. Corbyn, the only way to protect workers’ rights
in Britain is total escape from EU law »
“EU membership has embedded the neoliberal capitalist agenda in constitutional form”, said Doug Nicholls, former president of the General Confederation of Trade Unions.
Tony Benn and the old Left warned long ago that the EEC/EU was tilted in favour of multinationals and deracinated market forces — a “bankers’ ramp” — and so it has proved to be. It forbids elected socialist governments from pursuing socialist policies. It castrates them.
Jeremy Corbyn knows this. He knows that Labour cannot pursue a radical industrial strategy under EU state aid, competition, and market rules, and he knows from EU case law opts for capital over labour whenever the two clash.
Yet he is demanding that the UK should be shackled to this legal and regulatory orbit in the Brexit deal. The same millennial globalists that made him Labour leader have imposed this abdication upon the party.
This EU love-affair — from a safe distance — is a peculiar phenomenon. One can understand why the corporatist Right finds ‘Europe’ congenial. The mystery is why the Left not only goes along with this ideology against its own interests but does so with absolutist fervour.
“The EU has become an avatar for the British labour movement,” said Costas Lapavitsas, an economics professor at London University (SOAS) and author of The Left Case Against The EU. “They have elevated it into a great mechanism for protecting worker rights, but it is not true. None of the big advances — the Equal Pay Act, the Safety at Work Act, the Equal Value Amendment, the Sex Discrimination Act — had anything to do with the EU. They came from within, from the workers’ struggle”, he said.
Prof Lapavitsas says the Social Chapter of the Delors era in the late 1980s has long since given way to a “transnational juggernaut” that controls the EU machinery. The single market and the EU’s four freedoms are a trap for the Left.
“It is inconceivable that a path to socialism could be established without democratic controls on the flows of goods, services, and money,” he said.
Read the devastating critique of this Brave New Europe by Professor Mary Davis, a labour historian at the University of London (Holloway). She says the Lisbon Agenda (2000) and the Lisbon Treaty (2007) “reversed ‘social Europe’ completely by undermining the legal basis of workers’ right to employment contracts and negotiated collective agreements.”
Prof Davis is withering about those useful idiots on the Left who persist in believing that the EU “grants” protections to British workers. “In practice such concessions are pitifully few and are shot through with loopholes,” she wrote.
The Working Time Directive (2003) establishes a 48-hour maximum week but that does not match protections secured on this island decades ago. “Most negotiated collective agreements in the UK give workers a much better deal: a maximum 40-hour week, a demand championed by the labour movement since the 1880s”, she said. […]
“Mr Corbyn, the only way to safeguard worker rights in Britain is total escape from EU law”
© Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / The Telegraph
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