Unite the Union Launch Campaign to End ‘Fire and Rehire”

Britain’s largest union is calling on the government to outlaw ‘fire and rehire’,  with 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, the government has 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 that 70% are turning a profit while over half received government support during the pandemic. Locally workers at the Bulmers factory in Hereford were threatened that 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 & 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.

Lynn Denahm, local Councillor and former Parliamentary candidate in Worcester, added: 

“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”

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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Disclaimer: The author of this article is the Treasurer of a Unite the Union Branch and Unite the Union Branch WM/6070 pay an affiliation fee to Worcestershire Transformed to support our work.

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