Trades unionists meeting in Manchester this week have backed a “people’s vote” on Brexit if the Government fails to negotiate a good deal.
Some trade union leaders oppose a second referendum on whether to leave the European Union.
But the TUC’s Europe spokesman, Steve Turner, called on delegates at the annual congress to “rise like lions” if the deal is bad for British workers.
He told the conference:us.”
Mr Turner, Unite’s Assistant General Secretary described the attempts by the government to negotiate a Brexit deal as shambolic.
But he warned that the Labour and trade movement must work to heal divisions left by Brexit to avoid the rise of the far right in communities that feel abandoned by the political elite.
He said: “
“It demands we rise like lions to the challenges for our class, to the threat of a hard-right Tory attack on working people as well as the threats from bosses who think they can use Brexit to shed jobs, relocate and off-shore our work or put a match to hard won terms and conditions, rights and protections.
“It demands MPs reject a disastrous no deal and send a defeated, broken government back to the country in a general election. It demands we extend Article 50 to give an incoming Labour government time and opportunity to negotiate a deal for the many, not the few. And if the politicians can’t do that, then we demand we go back to the people so they can vote on the deal on offer.
“It’s our deal, our future, not theirs.
Congress we need a better, fairer Britain. We need to heal the wounds. Only our movement is capable of doing that.“
Read Steve Turner’s speech in full, here
Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell launched Manchester’s May Day celebrations declaring Labour is ready for government.
Mr McDonnell spoke at the beginning of a week of events aimed at marking the 150th anniversary of the Trades Union Congress which began in Manchester.
He said he didn’t know when it would come, believing the government will attempt to cling on to power for as long as possible, but is confident Labour will win the general election whenever it happens.
The left-winger promised Labour would bring in a fair taxation system, a crackdown on tax evasion, the introduction of a “real living wage of £10 an hour” and the repeal of anti-trade union union laws.
Sunday’s May Day events also included talks on The Original Gig Economy – A Musician’s Perspective on the Challenges of Freelancing hosted by the Musicians Union, and the forthcoming McStrike when workers at McDonalds on Oxford Road will join with stores across the country in a strike against low pay.
On Saturday 5th May at the Mechanics Institute there’s also a performance of We Are the Lions, Mr Manager, a play about the the 1976 Grunwick strike (click here for tickets and further details).
On Monday 7th May Manchester TUC will be joining with Salford Trades Council for a May Day march.
Junior doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital will be on strike again tomorrow as Manchester unions urge local people to rally in support of the medics.
The doctors will walk out at 8am in a 48 hour strike in protest at the government imposing a new contract which is claimed will put patient safety at risk.
And Manchester Trades Union Council, which represents unions throughout the city, invites everyone who wants to support the junior doctors to a meeting at the Mechanics Institute on Princess Street on Thursday April 7 at 6.30pm.
The meeting has been called to discuss the setting up support groups of trade unionists, patients and local residents from communities around all the Manchester and Trafford hospitals. Read More…