‘Fire and rehire is a totally immoral loophole in the employment law’-Nick West.

Nick West is trade unionist and Havering resident who sits on the London, Eastern and South East Trade Union Congress Executive Committee as Youth Representative. Today, he writes in the Havering Daily.

Last year, British Airways were one of the first companies to use the pandemic to try to dismantle their workers pay, terms and conditions and now another company who claim to fly the British flag is trying to do the same. British Gas.

Fire and rehire is a totally immoral loophole in employment law that allows a process of companies firing, often longstanding, workers and then hire them on a new contract with less pay and less rights are work. It’s totally inexcusable and is a kick in the teeth to workers who have continued to show their loyalty and commitment to their company in the midst of the worse pandemic in our lifetime.

British Gas workers, represented by GMB Union have therefore taken industrial action to “Stop the British Gas Fire” which has already led to an estimated 100,000 UK homes awaiting service. By refusing to listen to his workers boss Chris O’Shea is letting both workers and customers down. After weeks of condemnation from all sides of the political spectrum, it’s time for him to drop fire and rehire and then get back around the negotiating table.

Despite the stress of their own situation, British Gas workers have used their time on strike to volunteer for good causes such as local food banks and organising litter picks in their local community.

British Gas are unlike retailers or those in the hospitality industry which are really struggling at the moment. They heat homes which is still a big part of our day to day lives. In fact on 30th June 2020, they announced profits had gone up 27% compared to the year previous. So why are they doing this?

Greed. Pure and simple. The board is comprised of millionaires who despite their millions, are using a pandemic to squeeze even more money out of their workforce and into their own pockets.

My message to them is simple: stop your greed, listen to your workers and drop this damaging policy before further disruption occurs.

One thought on “‘Fire and rehire is a totally immoral loophole in the employment law’-Nick West.

  • 27th January 2021 at 3:04 pm

    How very strange that we haven’t heard from our favourite MP, well, he must be for some, regarding the fire & rehire of British Gas workers. Given his, and more than 240 MP’s, utter contempt regarding BA’s similar actions in an article in The Havering Daily, on 25th August 2020, it shows just how hollow his words were/are. Taken from that article…, quote, “Mr Rosindell addressed the crowd outside of the town hall saying: “Most of us travel British Airways and the word British to me means ‘fairplay.’ The way British Airways are behaving today is thoroughly reprehensible and they should not be allowed to do so”. Unquote. You said, most of us travel BA…, not me for one. No doubt your flights aren’t paid for by you, but by us, the tax payer. On that basis, like you, the last time I had to fly BA, it was paid for by someone else. So what is the difference between BRITISH Airways and BRITISH Gas? As you said, ‘the word British to you, means ‘fairplay’. Why is British Airways behaving reprehensibly but not British Gas? Perhaps you could add a few words as to what fairplay really means to you, and what is so reprehensible about BA but not BG when they are doing the same thing? No! No change there then.



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