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. This follows an extensive UK-wide consultation across UNISON’s branches.
Almost four in five (78%) of UNISON’s health, local government, education, energy and police 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.
The West Sussex branch ballot which fed into these national results showed 59% of members wanting the union to take a stance, but 81% saying that if UNISON did campaign it should be to REMAIN.
The fear that Brexit would mean the loss of the many workplace rights – e.g. parental leave, paid holiday, protection for part-timers, limits on excessive hours, TUPE and so on – 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.