The UK's leading trade union, Unite, is today (Wednesday 15 September) holding a national day of action as part of its campaign to end fire and rehire. The union's general secretary, Sharon Graham, called the practice, in which employers sack their workers only to rehire them on lower pay and worse conditions, an abhorrence and one of the scandals of our age.

Unite members around the country will mobilise outside the offices of 30 Conservative MPs, the Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack, the UK Parliament and a Tesco distribution centre to protest the practice and demand action. The union’s new general secretary Sharon Graham has pledged to build industrial strength to defeat employers using fire and rehire.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “‘Fire and Rehire’ is an abhorrence. It’s a legal mechanism used by ‘bad bosses’ to slash labour costs under cover of the Covid pandemic. It is one of the scandals of our age. We can win on ‘Fire and Rehire’ and win more often, if we fully commit to focusing on building union strength and organisation at the workplace. That is what Unite intends to do.” 

Unite is supporting Barry Gardiner MP’s Private Members Bill to challenge Fire and Rehire and is calling on MPs of all parties to back it. The Bill is due its second reading on 22 October under the title of Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill.

Barry Gardiner MP said: "MPs from every political party and every corner of the country are saying that Fire and Rehire is wrong. Bullying and intimidation is not the way forward if we want decent employment and a productive economy. Next month my colleagues in parliament have a chance to stand up and stop the bullying.”


Notes to editors

Unite is running a national campaign to End Fire and Rehire. For more information, please see 

For further information contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.