As I made clear to Navendu Mishra, the use of threats of firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is completely unacceptable. We expect all employers to treat employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Laws are in place to ensure fair treatment in respect of employment contracts and redundancy matters.
Heathrow firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage handlers, terminal operators and more are taking strike action today against disgraceful fire and rehire abuses by management that have resulted in pay cuts of up to 25% for thousands. Ministers may call these tactics unacceptable, but with greedy bosses and shareholders using covid as a cover for long-held plans to slash wages, what steps are they actually taking to stop Heathrow exploiting its workers in this way?
As previously mentioned, the Department has engaged ACAS to hold discussions to generate valuable evidence about the use of fire and rehire. The Government will communicate our response to the evidence in due course.
Warm words from the Minister, but fire and rehire is an outrageous tactic that is sadly growing in popularity. The latest large company to jump on the bandwagon is Tesco, where staff at the Livingston depot are facing pay cuts of between £4,000 and £13,000 a year—this while profits are soaring thanks to these same essential workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep families fed. When will the Government do what it takes to stop Tesco and other rogue bosses ripping off their workers? Or will they just wring their hands and wait for a report that they will simply ignore? We want action, Minister.
Having worked for a retailer—Sainsbury’s—for 13 years, I would like to acknowledge the hard work that we know all the people in retail do. However, I reiterate that the Department engaged ACAS to hold discussions in order to generate valuable evidence on the use of fire and rehire.