Fight back against 'fire and rehire' tactics, says union leader

A union leader should call for coordinated action to combat companies using so-called fire and reinstatement tactics to cut wages and working conditions.

Sharon Graham, Unite’s newly elected general secretary, will say that firing and reinstallation is a “disgust”.

Speaking to the TUC Congress in London, she is expected to say that fire and reinstatement is a legal mechanism used by bad bosses to cut labor costs under the guise of a global pandemic.

“This is one of the scandals of our time. Recall what fire and reinstatement actually is – workers wake up one morning and have 45 days to accept an ultimatum from the employer that includes reduced wages and conditions. If the new conditions are not accepted, it will mean dismissal. Very often there is no warning.

“This could mean workers losing their homes and forcing their families and children to move away from family, friends and neighborhood networks to look for work elsewhere.

“A lot of the companies that use this tactic don’t do it out of necessity, they do it because they can. They thought, “Now is the time”. Fire and Rehire is rapidly evolving from opportunism to standard practice. One in ten workers was affected by layoffs and new hires. We must support all legislative efforts to ban this practice. “

Ms. Graham will say she was elected with a mandate for change to get Unite back to focus on jobs, pay and terms.

“Not stepping out of the political arena, but making building power at work our top priority so that we can then move politics up from the grassroots,” she will say.

“With Labor in the opposition and a government reluctant to act, our response now must be industrial. Our priority must be to coordinate countermeasures in the workplace. “

The chairman of Unite will say that strikes may not be enough depending on the circumstances, adding, “This is why we need to share resources and strategies so that we can campaign together and give all of our members the best chance of winning.

“It has to start with real coordination – not just with words, but with practical action.”

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