Trade Unions and the 2016 UK European Union Referendum

CERIC Seminar Series

Speaker

Ian Fitzgerald (Northumbria University)

Abstract

This presentation is based on one of the first ever research projects that has investigated trade union strategies and UK European Union (EU) Referendums (both 1975 and 2016). It relies on 22 interviews, conducted pre and post 2016 Referendum, with trade union leaders, senior TUC and union officials all of whom held senior campaign responsibilities for the 2016 UK EU Referendum*. The presentation will consider the development of union policy towards the EU, campaign resources, the arguments made and active campaigning constraints. 

* The unions involved were ASLEF, BFAWU and RMT (Leave); NUT (Neutral); BECTU, TUC [national, SERTUC, YHTUC], Unison, Unite, USDAW (Remain).

‚Äč‚ÄčAbout the speaker

Dr Ian Fitzgerald is a Reader in Employment Relations and Associate Professor. His research mainly focuses on Polish migration and trade unions and has involved 12 projects as a principle investigator and two as a co-investigator. These projects have included ESRC projects investigating the impact of migrant workers on the UK labour market and cross border trade union collaboration due to the 2004 accession of Poland. He was also invited to be a national UK expert with regard to both the Posting of Workers Directive 96/71/EC and the Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive 2014/67/EU. Two recent projects have investigated moral panics and the Poles both prior and post EU Referendum. He has published widely on these topics and his collaboration with trade unions and other practitioners led to a REF2014 impact case study.