Horsforth workers demand government outlaws fire and rehire on eve of Queen’s Speech

Members of a union will hold a demonstration in Horsforth on the eve of the Queen's Speech demanding that the government takes action to outlaw the practice of fire and rehire.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 3:05 pm
Horsforth town centre stock image

The Unite union are planning on holding the demonstration on Monday, May 10 at 12pm outside the Morrison's entrance in Horsforth.

Fire and rehire is where workers are made redundant and forced to accept new contacts on inferior pay and conditions - with one in 10 workers having been threatened with this since the start of the pandemic according to a study by the Trades Union Congress.

The union has been defending workers employed by large companies such as Go North West and JDE coffee - where pay could be slashed by £12,000 a year.

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The number of workers affected by fire and rehire is expected to increase as the government furlough scheme winds down.

A Unite commissioned poll released last week found that 70 per cent of the public want it made illegal - a prompt for the socially distanced protests across the UK.

The protests aim to highlight the 'scandal' and 'put pressure on MPs to act', according to a spokesperson for Unite.

In March, Paul Scully MP, the parliamentary-under-secretary of state for business, told parliament that the government “will tackle” fire and rehire, which he condemned as “bully boy tactics”.

Unite regional secretary for Yorkshire Karen Reay said: “We’re not interested in sympathetic words from the government; we want action to protect the workers of this region.

"While fire and rehire is legal in this country, no worker is safe.

“It is too easy for bad bosses to exploit working people in this country. The power to stop it sits with the prime minister.

"During the Queen’s Speech tomorrow, we’re calling on Mr Johnson to use that power, get behind Britain’s workers and ban fire and rehire.”

In a letter sent to Boris Johnson, 20 trade unions and more that 140 Labour MPs and Lords called on the Prime Minister to introduce legislation outlawing fire and rehire.