I wanted to stay, but now we need to help working people in a post-EU Britain

时间:2019-09-08 责任编辑:利涣龈 来源:2018正规博彩娱乐网 点击:239 次

What matters now is making sure that in , we get the best deal for working people. It’s no secret that this isn‘t the result I wanted – or what the recommended. And I’m afraid that it will be working people that suffer the consequences of any vote to leave.

We need fast action to stop an economic collapse. But the most important task in the coming weeks and months is to heal the wounds of the country – not just those of the Conservative party. The referendum campaign was divisive and rancorous. Now that division needs to stop – and as a country we need to listen to one another and find common ways forward.

As a trade union leader, my job takes me to workplaces all over the country every week. I voted to remain, but many people I respect, whose values I share and whose communities I care for, voted to leave the EU.

Many proud working-class families felt that was the right choice for them. I want no part of the urbane sneering and social media memes about supposedly backward leave voters. Instead I’ll be out there listening to working people – and finding ways to make sure our political class ignores them no longer.

In too many parts of the UK, voters feel left behind by the pace of globalisation. Good skilled jobs that pay enough to raise a family have gone – and the only replacements are zero-hours contracts on the minimum wage in towns hollowed out from within. My hunch is that we will find many leave voters angry that the lives they expected – lives of pride and self-sufficiency, paid a decent wage for a hard day’s work, in a thriving community where you could afford a home of your own – are no longer available for their children and grandchildren.

It’s only got worse since the financial crash in 2008. The average wage is still £40 per week lower than it was before the crisis.

And yes, many voters feel blindsided by the pace of change in their communities – and the pressure that immigration has put on wages, housing and public services. I get that. What we don’t need now is more divisive rhetoric and empty promises.

Instead, we need practical actions to solve some of the problems. Academics tell us that EU migrants contribute more to the Exchequer than they take out. So let’s make sure that cash gets to areas of high pressure on public services through a new migration impacts fund. Let’s stop bad bosses using migrant labour to undercut local workers, by cracking down on poor employment practices and bogus self-employment. And let’s go further, and think about how we end the scourge of zero-hours contracts, and the merry-go-round of temporary and agency contracts that never lead to permanent jobs.

I also want us to reassert modern British – and trade union – values. Hard work, respect for one another, tolerance for difference, a profound opposition to racism and extremism. Making sure that we talk to one another, and that we are not living our lives in parallel. So we need to make sure that we help migrants learn English and give everyone the opportunity to mark their pride in their communities and in the nations and regions of the UK.

And I want this government to actually do what it has promised so often, and invest in a proper industrial strategy to bring back pride, good jobs and opportunities to those parts of our country left bereft by the end of heavy industry and the rise of bad jobs. Young people should have options to build a life in the communities they grew up in – rather than being sucked into the economy of London and the south-east, or consigned to a life of insecurity at the mercy of employment agencies and rogue landlords.

Trade unions have a role to play. Throughout our history we have helped people get a better deal at work, catch up on education, fulfil their ambitions. We have always been a way into political debates for ordinary working people – and a voice for them. In fractured communities, unions build bridges. Whoever gets the keys to No 10 must recognise a genuinely big and open society needs stronger unions. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be talking to working people around the country – both those who voted leave and those who voted remain – about what we can do together to bring back pride and take back control for Britain’s left behind communities. I hope politicians of all parties and all sides in this referendum will join me, as we put together a unifying plan for life outside the .