It’s not just British Gas. ‘Fire and rehire’ is increasingly used to destroy workers’ rights.
British Gas engineers are striking for the fifth day, fully withdrawing their labour, after being provoked into industrial action over pay and conditions. The whole British Gas workforce has been threatened with being fired on mass, and then rehired on a much worse contract, if they don’t agree to new terms in their employment. 10,000 workers are on strike, and have been creatively forming safe, socially distanced picket lines using their work vans:
After 13yrs of service, Mr O'shea is sacking me on 31st March if I don’t agree and sign his new contract on significantly worse terms. Less pay, more hours and ￼fewer benefits. No redundancy, no choice. Fire + rehire is morally wrong and soul destroying #StopTheBritishGasFire pic.twitter.com/zi69XznSSY
— pete howis (@HowisPete) January 8, 2021
Another striking worker explained why the strike is so important:
This is what the strike at British Gas is all about.
Please SHARE widely.#StopTheBritishGasFire pic.twitter.com/byq3qutdNP
— GMB Union (@GMB_union) January 6, 2021
There’s been massive public support for the British Gas workers as they take action against corporate bullying. People have used social media to show solidarity, while others have threatened to change their energy provider:
For everyone wanting to leave BG, definitely switch to @octopus_energy as they are awesome! – (and if you really want, get £50 off with my 'refer a friend' link https://t.co/LyXsGpor2z 😁) #betterenergy. Maybe they can hire you Pete? They seem like a great company!
— Ellie Mackay (@EllieWorldwide) January 10, 2021
Day 5 of the british gas strike. During this pandemic engineers have knowingly entered customers properties that were covid positive to keep their heating & appliances working. Their reward for that is to be fired & rehired on much worse terms & conditions #stopTheBritishGasFire pic.twitter.com/1eolfOlHoc
— Kevin Kerr (@KevinKe88375449) January 11, 2021
An increasingly common tactic
The tactic of ‘fire and rehire’ is becoming a common tactic for corporate thugs in their quest to get away with imposing worse pay and conditions on workers. The Scottish Socialist Party argues:
Fire and rehire, already used by British Airways bosses, is increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for big business bosses who are hellbent on making the working class pay a terrible price for the Coronavirus crisis, which in itself exacerbated the systemic crisis of a capitalist system rooted in maximisation of profit through minimisation of wages, conditions and public services.
British Airways has had a long-running dispute with unions over ‘fire and rehire’ policies, with employees launching a series of strikes.
Meanwhile, workers across the country have argued that the tactic has also been used on them:
This is exactly what @asda has done to its colleagues. I had to quit after 15 years of service. My partner still works there & had to take Xmas & new year off as "unpaid holidays" on the new contract.
— Holz1 (@Holz1_LPsoldier) January 9, 2021
All the big supermarkets have done this recently with all their staff/ management it happened to me either sign your nes contract or leave and the unions just sit back and let them do it
— paul benstead (@homerastra) January 9, 2021
As a Teaching Assistant threatened with fire and rehire a few years ago, I’m totally behind you and your colleagues. I haven’t forgotten the feeling of betrayal when our employer ripped up contracts saying: if you don’t like it, tough. Sending solidarity to you & your colleagues.
— Megan charlton (@Charlton101M) January 9, 2021
Show solidarity with the workers
GMB Union is asking members of the public to add their signature of solidarity with the workers, while at the same time calling on Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, which owns British Gas to call off his fire and rehire threats.
And as the strike enters its fifth and final day, a Twitterstorm is planned to ‘set Twitter alight’:
MONDAY 11th JANUARY
LET’S END DAY 5 OF THIS STRIKE BY SETTING TWITTER ALIGHT. #StopTheBritishGasFire pic.twitter.com/Lsvg0w5t2I
— #StopTheBritishGasFire (@Dave_Burns_) January 10, 2021
Together we must support the British Gas strikers, while also making bigger demands that policies of ‘fire and refire’ are made illegal for good.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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Leave/Remain if you were on either Bandwagon screaming your head off about Leave/Remain instead of listening and supporting Jeremy Corbyn, then you did this to yourself! His message was nothing about Leave or Remain, but EVERYTHING about THIS, MUCH MORE and the impact of a Conservative TORY win! I can’t help but wonder how many of these very same people, either leave/remain, were also the same people who ridiculed me and others when we warned them this will happen, we begged them to come to their senses if not for themselves at least for their children, they laughed!
Now we are pretty much f**ked, because between the Neolabour TORIES and the Conservative TORIES the latter looks like the FAR FAR safer option in a GE! Democratic Socialists better get their fingers out! We need our Unions to disaffiliate and start a New Democratic Socialist Party! Even as a smaller Party I really think we would pose a major threat to both Neolabour TORIES and Conservative TORIES and as an added bonus with NO internal Sabotage, Coup, Lies, Smear, from a Parasite Party we would Fly! Under no illusion that it wouldn’t still be very bumpy, but not hand fed from the inside!
Here is May in 2013 summing up the entire EU Referendum, this is what they wanted YOUR human rights! The kitten and terrorist stories are fabricated, anyway how naive must anyone be to believe that removing Human Rights were only going to impact on very specific individuals and not them! Next will be Patel and her beloved Death Sentence! YAY! they say, until their son/daughter/wife/husband are misidentified and the proof gets released 1 year after the execution! YAY! They didn’t do it! Awww! They’re dead!
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