Sunday, 17 December 2017

An attack on the Working Time Directive is an attack on British workers' rights

Lying Brexiteers are actually trying to dress up their move to scrap the Working Time Directive as "taking back control" by "putting the decision how hard to work back into the hands of the people who matter - the ordinary British worker".

In reality this is the exact opposite of what scrapping the Working Time Directive would do.

The Working Time Directive prevents employers from forcing their employees to work more than 48 hours per week.

Under this rule British workers are absolutely free to work more than 48 hours per week if they want to, but nobody can force them to with threats of punishment or the sack if they don't.

If you've never taken advantage of the absolute freedom EU workers have to work beyond 48 hours per week if they want to, just speak to someone who has worked as a doctor in a busy NHS role, a construction worker, a seasonal agricultural worker, in the tourist trade in the summer, or in the retail trade at Christmas time.

The Working Time Directive allows British workers some freedom to decide how many hours they work, and scrapping the Working Time Directive would put the power to decide back into the hands of their employers.

As things are now employers can't force employees to work super-long hours, so if they want them to, they've got to use incentives like overtime and bonuses rather than threats. Removal of the Working Time Directive would allow employers to resort to threats instead, and drastically reduce the financial incentives paid out to those workers who currently chose to work extremely long hours.

It's absolutely outrageous that Brextremists are once again pushing reality-reversing Orwellian propaganda to try and convince the gullible that scrapping workers' rights is good for workers, but these are the kinds of extreme mind games they insist on playing.

Looking into the reasoning behind such dishonest trickery reveals two very clear motivations. One is that they're deciding to lie in this outrageous manner because they believe that they simply can't win the argument with the truth. And the other motivation is the absolute contempt they must have for ordinary working people that they expect them to mindlessly believe the absurd story that revoking the workers' right to decide how much overtime their employer can make them do is somehow giving them more control over their own working lives!

Scrapping the Working Time Directive would definitely be "taking back control" in a way, but it would be taking control of the ability to decide away from British workers and handing it to their bosses.

But who could possibly have imagined that a Brexit process administered by the hard-right fringe of the Tory party would ever have ended up manifesting as anything other than a deliberate upwards redistribution of wealth and power?

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