Prime Minister David Cameron has joined forces with TUC general secretary Sir Brendan Barber to make his case for staying in the EU
In a joint article in the Guardian, Cameron and Sir Brendan Barber said a vote to quit would be a “disaster for working people”.
They said jobs would be lost and wages hit by the “shock” of a UK exit.
In their article, Mr Cameron and Sir Brendan Barber say “very special circumstances” have brought them together, adding that they are “united in our conviction that Britain – and Britain’s workers – will be better off in a reformed Europe than out on our own”.
They claim equal pay for women, paid holidays, maternity rights, equal treatment for part-time workers and protection for agency workers “could all be at risk” if the UK leaves.
Pressure on the pound would also lead to higher prices, they claim, saying this is a “risk working people and the poorest in our country simply cannot afford”.
The joint article comes after ministers were accused in the Commons of making concessions in their Trade Union Bill in order to win unions’ support for remaining in the EU.
After changes including a review of e-voting in strike ballots were unveiled, former Labour minister Kevan Jones said the “climbdown” on trade unions reflected the PM’s “realisation” that he would “have to keep them onside”.
Downing Street said the EU referendum was “a separate issue”, saying many unions had already set out their views on the subject.