Jeff Smith has called on the government to change the law to prevent firms from firing their workforce then rehiring as a tactic to force them to accept inferior pay and conditions. Over recent weeks, British Airways have given notice that they are going to use this process to tear up the contracts they have with some of their employees and force them to accept worse terms than they are currently on. Centrica (which owns British Gas) have indicated they are considering going through the same process to take away redundancy pay and holiday entitlement from employees.
Jeff commented on the proposals “Whilst I understand that it is a difficult time for many businesses, British Airways and Centrica/British Gas should not be implementing such a tactic during a global pandemic when job and financial insecurity is rife. This heavy-handed measure exploits employees, including local people in south Manchester, and forces them to accept reduced rights for a job they are already undertaking.”
Jeff has written to the CEOs of both British Airways and Centrica protesting against the course of action they are taking and urging them to reopen discussions with unions. However, it is clear that the government needs to take action to stop this happening again.
“Workers deserve better than having their hard-earned pay and conditions taken away from them by their employers. The government needs to take action to change the law to stop companies using ‘fire and rehire’ to wriggle out of the contracts they’ve agreed with their employees.”