Here’s a relatively new buzzphrase for you: “Fire and re-hire.”
It has become the latest fashion among big corporations in the UK, with multiple strikes taking place over recent weeks as unions have done their best to protest this despicable practice.
The aim is to fire workers, then hire them back immediately – at a lower rate of pay (and possibly with fewer in-work benefits as well).
This means bosses have more cash to pass around among themselves and shareholders – and there’s the added bonus of causing unnecessary unpleasantness to the people who actually generate the profits that these parasites enjoy.
This week, Conservative MPs had a chance to support a Parliamentary motion stating that “fire and re-hire” should be banned. They didn’t even turn up.
I voted in Parliament tonight to protect workers’ rights, including:
▪️the limit to a 48-hour working week
▪️Holiday Pay Entitlements
Tories didn’t bother to turn up & vote -we cannot trust them; they’ll implement Thatcher 2.0
Join a Union
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) January 25, 2021
Labour has been all over this.
0⃣ Conservative MPs voting to defend the workplace rights they promised would be safe in their hands.
They might have clapped for Keyworkers on their front steps, but now they're threatening rights and holiday pay by the backdoor.
We must stand together to stop them. https://t.co/xRqo8fqNSV
— Labour🌹Unions (@labourunionsuk) January 25, 2021
I just voted alongside my Labour colleagues to protect the rights of our key workers.
The Tories didn’t even show up. pic.twitter.com/Bx9OmjQWwl
— Karl Turner MP (@KarlTurnerMP) January 25, 2021
I've just voted for a Motion to outlaw "fire and rehire" practices that leave workers on worse pay and conditions.
The Tories couldn’t stomach supporting it.
The truth is they want to use this crisis and mass unemployment to drive back workers rights and deliver Thatcherism 2.0
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) January 25, 2021
Tonight Labour MPs voted to protect holiday pay, paid breaks, the 48 hour weekly working limit and to bring in legislation to ban fire and re-hire.
The government and Tory MPs didn't even turn up. They clapped for our key workers last year and now they're selling them out. pic.twitter.com/e0zDM42u1I
— Angela Rayner 😷 (@AngelaRayner) January 25, 2021
I dare say every Labour MP with a Twitter account has put up something similar.
The Tory press was more interested in hounding Labour’s Ian Byrne for joining a picket line to stop British Gas from using these despicable ‘fire and rehire’ practices.
Here’s Mr Byrne to say what he’s been up to:
Amazing solidarity comrade. This is what the grassroots want to see our MPs doing.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) January 25, 2021
Tory rags attacked Byrne for travelling 42 miles to Stockport during lockdown.
They omitted mention of the fact that he was well within his rights as the travel was related to his job, and he was perfectly entitled to do it.
Also, of course, Boris Johnson had travelled to another country, and the Tory rags didn’t utter a whisper about that!
Seriously, the toxic tabloid press and a few strays attacking a Labour MP for attending a picket line are only pissed because they want picket lines outlawed altogether.
Solidarity with @IanByrneMP for doing his job.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) January 25, 2021
I think Rachael is right. So is Karie:
At the risk of repeating myself, @IanByrneMP is one of the best Labour MP’s that we have. He went to join a picket line, he was doing his job and supporting those fighting for the right to do theirs. Big deal. The right wing media can do one. @UnitePolitics https://t.co/ElD9CMJ29o
— Karie Murphy (@karie_murphy) January 25, 2021
The TUC has published an article pointing out that “fire and re-hire” is the diametric opposite of Boris Johnson’s claim that he intends to “level up” the UK – as it levels-down workers’ pay and living standards.
And workers at British Gas are currently taking industrial action against an attempt by bosses to unilaterally cut their pay and conditions.
A poll published by the TUC today reveals that nearly one in 10 (9%) workers have been told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions since the first lockdown in March.
Nearly a fifth of 18-24 year-olds say their employer has tried to re-hire them on inferior terms during the pandemic.
And twice as many black and minority ethnic (BME) workers (15%) have been faced with “fire and rehire” as white workers (8%)
The Tories – absent from the vote to support banning the practice – were probably instead plotting ways to water down workers’ rights even further.
After Brexit, the Tory government has an opportunity to inflict huge harm on the people who power the national economy. Kwasi Kwarteng may be denying it but if that wasn’t the plan, where were they during the “fire and re-hire” vote?
Bizarrely, the Tories have been helped in this plan by British voters.
British voters voted to leave the European Union.
And British voters voted to give Boris Johnson a Parliamentary majority of 80 seats, to make sure that he would be able to give employers carte blanche to steal pay from the hands of their employees.
Ask these British voters who they would support in a future election and I’m willing to bet that most of them would say they’d support the Tories again.
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