Outlaw fire and rehire plea to Mayors

Unite call to Mayors Khan and Burnham – warm words are not enough

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Unite today (Thursday April 15) called on the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to publicly back a declaration to outlaw fire and rehire on bus services.

Activists delivered the declarations to London City Hall (SE1 2AA ) and the Greater Manchester Mayor’s office at 1.00pm today.

The Go Ahead group which owns bus services in London and Manchester (Go North West) is using the disgraceful fire and rehire tactic to attack Manchester bus drivers’ pay and conditions. Other bus workers could face a similar fate unless the leaders of London and Manchester act.

The Mayors have the power to outlaw fire and rehire by barring employers which use this immoral tactic from bidding for bus contracts controlled by Transport for London and Transport for Greater Manchester.

Over 400 drivers in Manchester have been on all out strike since Sunday February 28. Go North West’s fire and rehire plans mean bus drivers will be forced to work longer for no additional pay.

Go North West is expecting its drivers to undertake 130 hours of unpaid work per annum, resulting in drivers being £2,500 a year worse off. Go North West is also intent on tearing up the existing sick pay policy, which will result in a 67 per cent cut in sick pay for workers with over five years’ service.

“Today we are calling on Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan to publicly back a declaration which bars employers who use fire and rehire from bidding for future contracts in the great cities of London and Manchester,” commented Unite executive officer Sharon Graham.

“Warm words in support of the bus drivers in Manchester who are under attack are simply not enough and workers in London could be next. It’s time to act,” she added.

Concluding, Graham said, “It’s obviously wrong for companies to sack workers and then re-hire them on inferior terms and conditions. Workers need more than words of sympathy. While the government drags its heels, the Labour Mayors of Manchester and London must lead the way by using their powers to outlaw fire and rehire on their watch.”

By Ciaran Naidoo

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