Calls to ban tactics of ‘fire and rehire’ firms - The Worcester Observer

Calls to ban tactics of ‘fire and rehire’ firms

Worcester Editorial 22nd May, 2021   0

WORCESTER union chiefs are calling on the Government to outlaw ‘fire and rehire’, as new figures show one in 10 workers in the UK being threatened with the tactic by employers.

The practice, already banned in Spain and France, has been used by employers to force through detrimental changes to workers’ pay and their terms and conditions.

Whilst a simple change to employment legislation would make the practice illegal, Unite has claimed the government ha refused to move on this issue so far.

This is despite earlier this month hundreds of British Gas engineers being sacked due to not accepting a new contract put to them by the employer which would see them work more hours for less pay.

The tactic is being used despite a recent investigation of firms engaging in fire and rehire finding 70 per cent are turning a profit while over half received government support during the pandemic.

Workers at the Bulmers factory in Hereford were threatened they would be sacked by owner’s Heineken if they did not accept new contacts with weaker terms and conditions.

Daniel Hall, chair of Unite the Union Herefordshire and Worcestershire branch, said: “This practice is nothing short of bullying.

“How it can be legal for employers to force staff into accepting poorer working conditions is beyond belief. Unite is committed to standing up for our members and we will be forcing the government to take action on this issue.”

Former Labour parliamentary candidate for the city, Coun Lynn Denham added her voice to the calls for it to be scrapped.

“Fire and rehire is an appalling creation. Loyal, knowledgeable staff are a great asset to any business. People should not be treated like a cheap disposable commodity,” she said.

Unite has asked those who support the banning of this practice to write to their MP to ask them to support and sign Early Day Motion 1732 in parliament.

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