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Unite launches campaign against fire and re-hire tactics

TRADE union Unite launched a national campaign today against employers’ “abhorrent” practice of fire and rehire.

The offices of 30 Tory MPs and the House of Commons were among the targets for protests.

Unite’s campaign is the first nationwide action against attacks on wages and conditions through fire and rehire, which the TUC says now affects three million workers.

The practice involves workers being sacked and told to reapply for their jobs, but with lower wages and worse working conditions. It is illegal in some European countries.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Fire and rehire is an abhorrence. 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.”

The union supports Labour MP Barry Gardiner’s private member’s Bill challenging the tactic and is calling on MPs of all parties to back it.

The Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill is due a second reading on October 22.

Mr Gardiner said: “MPs from every political party and every corner of the country are saying that fire and rehire is wrong.

“Bullying and intimidation is not the way forward if we want decent employment and a productive economy.”

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