TUC 2012 Stark warnings were issued today at the TUC Congress that EU austerity measures cripple workers' rights and conditions across its 27 states while propping up the profits of big business, writes Will Stone.
The president of the regional TUC in Larissa, Greece, Tsiaples Anastosis told a Communist Party fringe meeting that membership of the bloc represents a nail in the coffin for workers' rights.
"The EU is unable and unwilling to change. It will always be for the upgrading of the bourgeois while demanding sacrifices from working people," he said at the Alternatives to EU Austerity debate.
"It has never supported workers. It is a capitalist union that is the enemy of class struggle."
And transport union RMT president Alex Gordon warned that Monti II regulations - which allow courts to outlaw strike action and exploit labout across borders - give a clear indication of the EU's threat to wokers' rights.
"The rights of business is what the EU is really all about at its core. We will see a social nightmare right across EU states," he said.
"There needs to be co-ordinated action against the privatising agenda of the EU."
Shop workers take fight to Next store
The GMB union has announced a demonstration outside a Next store in Brighton today to support the call for the company to pay staff a living wage.
The union is demanding an increase in the wages of staff from the national minimum wage of £6.08 per hour - less for young staff - to a living wage of £7.20 per hour for all workers.
Next recently issued a trading statement saying they expected profits to be up by between £10 million and £15m to make profits of up to £620m for the year to Jan 2013.
GMB analysis shows that Next makes profits of 17.5p per pound spent in the shops while average wages are less than £9,571 per worker per year.
The demonstration will be held from 11.30am outside the Next Store in Churchill Shopping Centre, 46 Upper Mall, Brighton.