'Stand up and stop the bullying'

Unite launches national day of action to end abhorrent ‘fire and rehire’

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Unite is today (Wednesday September 15) holding a national day of action as part of its campaign to end fire and rehire. The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, called the practice, in which employers sack their workers only to rehire them on lower pay and worse conditions, “an abhorrence” and “one of the scandals of our age”.

Unite members around the country will mobilise outside the offices of 30 Conservative MPs, the secretary of state for Scotland Alister Jack, the UK Parliament and a Tesco distribution centre to protest against the practice and demand action.

The union’s new general secretary Sharon Graham has pledged to build industrial strength to defeat employers using fire and rehire.

Graham commented, “‘Fire and Rehire’ is an abhorrence. It’s a legal mechanism used by ‘bad bosses’ to slash labour costs under cover of the Covid pandemic. It is one of the scandals of our age.

“We can win on ‘Fire and Rehire’ and win more often, if we fully commit to focusing on building union strength and organisation at the workplace. That is what Unite intends to do.”

Unite is supporting Barry Gardiner MP’s Private Members Bill to challenge Fire and Rehire and is calling on MPs of all parties to back it. The Bill is due its second reading on October 22 under the title of Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill.

“MPs from every political party and every corner of the country are saying that Fire and Rehire is wrong,” said Barry Gardiner MP.

“Bullying and intimidation is not the way forward if we want decent employment and a productive economy. Next month my colleagues in parliament have a chance to stand up and stop the bullying.”

By Shaun Noble

Pic by Mark Thomas 

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