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Thursday 7 April 2016

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RMT transport union sets out six key reasons why it backs a vote to leave the EU

The RMT transport workers' union today set out why it will be advising members to vote to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum.

Announcing six core reasons for RMT members to vote to leave, the union's 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".

Six key reasons from the RMT for leaving the EU:

1. Leave the EU to end attacks on rail workers

New EU rail policies are set to further entrench rail privatisation and fragmentation. That will also mean more attacks on jobs and conditions and EU laws will make it impossible to bring all of rail back into public ownership.

2. Leave the EU to end attacks on seafarers and the offshore workers

The EU has promoted undercutting and social dumping leading to the decimation of UK seafarers. The same is now happening in the offshore sector. EU directives also require the tendering of our public ferry services.

3. Leave the EU to end attacks on workers' rights

It's a myth that the EU is in favour of workers. In fact the EU is developing a new policy framework to attack trade union rights, collective bargaining, job protections and wages. This is already being enforced in countries which have received EU 'bailouts'.

4. Leave the EU to end austerity

If you join a union you expect members of the union to protect each other in times of trouble. The European Union has done the opposite. It has used the economic crisis to impose austerity and privatisation on member states. Instead of protecting jobs and investment EU austerity is driving UK austerity.

5. Leave the EU to stop the attack on our NHS

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the United States will promote big business at the expense of government protections and organisations including our NHS! Environmental regulations, employment rights, food safety, privacy laws and many other safeguards will also be secondary to the right of corporations to make even bigger profits.

6. Leave the EU to support democracy

The vast majority of the laws that affect our lives are now made in the EU and not the UK. We have no say over those laws. As the late Tony Benn said in 1991: "We are discussing whether the British people are to be allowed to elect those who make the laws under which they are governed. The argument is nothing to do with whether we should get more maternity leave from Madame Papandreou (a European Commissioner at the time)".

The RMT is a key component part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), having had official representatives of the union on the TUSC national steering committee since an AGM decision in 2012.