Europe

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The European Union is one of the world’s major trading and political entities, and as such plays a major role in the lives of working people. EU legislation is central to UK labour laws, equality and health and safety. The TUC pursues the interests of working people through the European Trade Union Confederation (see the ETUC website for more trade union policies on Europe); through the social dialogue with European employers; through the Economic and Social Committee; and through representations to the institutions of the EU – the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and the British government. You can read about what the TUC has been doing in Europe in the annual General Council Report to Congress.

The TUC has an office in Brussels and a European Network that brings together the European officers of affiliated trade unions. In particular, the TUC wants to see the European trade union movement develop an organising strategy to address falling membership.


Brexit risks “turning the clock black decades” on women’s rights, according to a new report published by the TUC today (Tuesday). TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Women have made huge gains in the workplace as a result of EU membership, ranging from protection against pregnancy discrimination to fairer pay,...
24 May 2016
This report outlines 20 ways in which EU law has improved the rights of working women in the UK and it considers the threat to rights if there is a vote to leave.
24 May 2016
Commenting on a report published today (Monday) by the Treasury, which warns that Brexit would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs and trigger a year long recession, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The forecast from the Treasury gives us half a million good reasons to stay in the...
23 May 2016
As a parent I’ve been considering what implications the EU referendum outcome could mean for my children’s future. I’ve a six year old boy who quite rightly is more interested in re-enacting Star Wars than contemplating his future, so it’s a judgement that falls to parents! It’s going to be...
23 May 2016
Legislation against disability discrimination was adopted in the UK more than 20 years ago. Several years later EU law followed. The UK played a positive role in shaping it and disabled workers rights’ improved further in the UK as a result.
19 May 2016
Commenting on a speech today at the Institute of Directors by pro-Brexit MP Priti Patel, in which she argued that leaving the EU would be an opportunity to cut EU social and employment protections, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Leave the EU and lose your rights at work –...
17 May 2016
The TUC has published a briefing today (Tuesday) on the ways in which LGBT workers have benefitted from the UK’s membership of the EU, and the risks to their rights from Brexit.
17 May 2016
Last week a key part of the UK’s economy went into recession. Industrial production has now fallen over two successive quarters with manufacturing shaken by the steel crisis, falling orders in construction and ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s membership of the European Union. These are not natural phenomena but are...
16 May 2016
In recent decades, the number of people employed on a part-time or temporary basis has grown. These workers have often been marginalised and denied certain rights and benefits. EU law has helped improve their rights at work.
10 May 2016
Commenting on a speech today (Tuesday) by Iain Duncan Smith on the EU and social justice, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “He ignored the main Brexit problem everybody else is talking about – the big hit on jobs and wages that most economists predict. Working families have still not...
10 May 2016

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