EU Referendum Campaign
As branches are aware it was agreed under motion E3 at this year’s Annual Conference that the CWU should recommend a vote to remain in the EU to our members in the forthcoming referendum.
The purpose of this LTB is to update branches on the activities planned by the union, how we will be conducting the campaign and to make Branches aware of the legal requirements the union will need to comply with.
In relation to the activities we are planning, we have set out the following time line for our campaign:
– CWU leaflet focusing on workers’ rights in the EU to be sent to branches – week commencing 6th June.
– CWU-led cross-union public rally – week commencing 13th June.
– CWU online video on the union’s position – week commencing 13th June.
– Home mailing to members explaining the union’s recommendation – to arrive on 18th June. This will be separate from the Voice.
These events are focused on the build-up to the referendum itself on 23rd June, when we believe our members will be giving the issues the most attention. We will also be using the media to publicise the union’s position more widely.
In relation to the way in which we will be engaging in this campaign, there are two points it is important to emphasise.
Firstly, in making a recommendation on the referendum, the CWU will make it clear that we respect and understand the fact that our members will cast their vote on a range of issues. However, we will also explain that it is important that the trade union movement does not allow the referendum to be a choice between two competing visions of a Conservative Party future.
Secondly, as agreed under motion E3 at Conference, we will be putting forward a distinct trade union argument for staying within the EU and we will not be involved with the official Remain campaign, which fails to recognise the need for fundamental economic and democratic change in both the EU and this country.
We are recommending a vote to remain within the EU, primarily to safeguard our members’ employment rights. This is not about defending the status quo and we will be explaining this fully in the information we provide to members. This information will also cover industry specific issues, migration and the need to reform the EU.
While we will be producing campaign materials from CWU headquarters, should Branches and Regions wish to conduct any campaigning themselves we would ask that you do so in line with these principles agreed at Conference.
Finally, it is important for Branches and Regions to be aware that any campaign spending by the CWU in campaigning on the referendum will need to be reported by the union centrally to the Electoral Commission. Any campaign material that is produced by the union will also need to include a specific imprint, stating that it has come from the CWU as a registered campaign body.
Branches and Regions should therefore contact firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of any campaign activities they wish to undertake to ensure that this will comply with the legal restrictions for the referendum and can be registered in the required way.