24 January 2023
RMT Press Office:
RMT today dismissed the government’s consultation for a new code to deal with unscrupulous employers who fire and rehire workers as a ‘gimmick’ designed to draw attention away from its attempts to impose new anti-union laws.
Tory Business Secretary Grant Shapps launched the 12-week consultation into fire and rehire practices at a time when the government is handing him the powers to personally decide minimum service levels and who is sacked as a result.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that not only should fire and rehire be outlawed immediately but it will not help P&O seafarers who were fired and not rehired.
“Our members struggling to re-build their lives after being thrown out of their jobs at P&O Ferries by private security guards will gain nothing from another lengthy consultation process.
“P&O Ferries will take delivery of a new electric hybrid ferry from China on the Dover-Calais route before the fire and rehire consultation closes.
“Seafarers and all workers need to be able to take pre-emptive action against employers like P&O who openly break the law to cut jobs and livelihoods but this compromised administration has no plans for this or to restore the trade union conditions which P&O Ferries ripped up with the approval of their owners in Dubai.
“Statutory guidance will not stop aggressive employers from firing staff and re-hiring them on inferior pay and terms and conditions.
“If the government doesn’t understand that, then we know they are on the side of P&O Ferries and not that of workers in Britain,” he said.