Guildford was the latest stop for Labour MP Barry Gardiner’s campaign to end Fire and Rehire this week.
Barry attended a Labour Party members’ meeting on Wednesday evening, showing a 30 minute film about his campaign and staying for another hour of questions and discussion. Earlier in this parliamentary session Barry presented a private members bill which aims to prevent the practice of employers firing staff then rehiring them on vastly lower salaries. Despite gaining apparent support from government ministers, including the Prime Minister himself, the government filibustered the Bill out of existence earlier this year to the frustration of all.
Barry explained the bill in some detail and how it would have prevented P&O’s recent sacking of staff even though in P&Os case they did not rehire staff. The bill demands greater transparency on why companies claim the sacking of staff is deemed necessary.
Many large organisations have treated staff in this way, including British Gas, British Airways, Asda and Clarks Shoes. It means that no employee is safe as having a contract, long service and a clean record count for nothing.
Guildford Labour has pledged to urge Guildford Borough Council to put in place a points-based charter which ranks contractors on their positive employment practices and green credentials (for example) as well as value for money. The cheapest
contractor does not always have a great attitude about workers’ rights.
Frustrating though it is that such a well-supported piece of legislation has failed to make it into law in this parliament, Barry is determined to continue the campaign and hopes that another MP may pick up the bill in the next session and again promote this levelling up of workers’ rights.
You can sign the Labour petition supporting Barry’s campaign here: https://action.labour.org.uk/page/79151/petition/1?locale=en-GB