12 September 2016
TUC leader says EU citizens must be given right to remain in UK
The head of the Trade Union Congress is warning the Prime Minister not to make workers pay the price of Brexit.
Speaking to the TUC annual conference in Brighton, general secretary Frances O'Grady demanded guarantees before Theresa May pulls the trigger on article 50.
She said: "EU citizens living and working in the UK must be given the right to remain."
Ms O'Grady says the Government should not underestimate the trade union movement.
"My offer is this - where we agree with your policy, we'll support it. If you want elections to put workers on boards; we'll welcome it. If you're serious about tackling greed at the top; we'll work with you. And if you're going to drive an industrial strategy that brings great jobs across the UK; we'll roll up our sleeves and help," she said.
Speaking at the conference, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, warns firms not to use Brexit as an excuse to cut jobs and workers' rights.
He said: "We are ready to work with employers to overcome any genuine problems that may exist, but we are not prepared to see Brexit used as a smokescreen for further disinvestment from Britain. Out of the EU must not mean out of work."
Ms O'Grady underpinned the focus of trade unions on improving workers conditions, telling delegates that widespread mistreatment of staff is becoming more evident in Britain and for "greedy" companies found to be exploiting their workers, "there will be no hiding place".