Tory MEP would scrap hard won rights for North East Employees

North East Labour MEP Stephen Hughes has condemned a call from the region’s Conservative MEP to withdraw from the Social Chapter – a move which would see thousands of workers in the North East lose a range of rights in the workplace.

Speaking in the European Parliament earlier this week, Tory Martin Callanan called for the UK to withdraw from The European Social Chapter.

Responding to the comments, Stephen Hughes MEP said;

“The Social Chapter has brought huge benefits to thousands of employees and their families in the North East. It provides people with basic rights covering areas such as Health and Safety at work and the right not to be forced to work dangerously long hours by unscrupulous employers.”

“The Social Chapter is about ensuring equality; to right to equitable pay for women and men and across Europe, the right to consultation between employers and employees, and protection for disabled workers.”

“These are fundamental rights that the Tories want to see scrapped.  This exposes yet again that the Conservative Party has not changed, they are still a right-wing party who will let down thousands ordinary families across the North East.” 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. Martin Callanan on the Social Chapter:

“Madam President, this report starts from a false assumption: the assumption that the EU knows best when it comes to employment policy. Many of my constituents would profoundly disagree; they would rather that the EU were kept well away from anything to do with employment policy. I believe that my country should withdraw from the EU’s Social Chapter.”

Explanation of Vote-  The European Parliament – March 11 2009 – Strasbourg
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20090311+ITEM-006+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&query=INTERV&detail=3-181