Responding to comments by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, Garry Graham Prospect deputy general secretary said:
"Despite the prime minister seeking to reassure the electorate that the government would protect the legal rights of workers the suggestion that the protections provided by the Working Time Directive are to be scrapped reveals a hard-edged ideological approach.
"Among other things, the Working Time Directive provides that workers cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours per week and that they have a right to 11 hours uninterrupted rest in a 24 hour period”.
He added “Prospect represents thousands of workers in safety critical industries such as air traffic engineers. The Working Time Directive provides valuable protections which protect the health and safety of workers but also are in the interests of the traveling public”.
“Ministers appear to think that the route to economic success is a race to the bottom in relation to employment law protections. No reputable employer has ever suggested to Prospect that the Working Time Directive is a burden on their business and they recognise the important protections it provides.
"The government is out of step with the views of the business community and the wider electorate. I would suggest that the majority of politicians who criticise the Working Time Directive have never actually read it. This is being driven by a hard edge of ideology and is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”