The Labour party conference has today (Monday 27 September) overwhelmingly supported a motion moved by Unite, the UK’s leading union, condemning the practice of fire and rehire.

Attack on workers

Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a huge growth in companies seeking to cut the pay and conditions of workers, by making workers redundant and then re-employing them on greatly reduced terms.

 Unite general secretary Sharon Graham describes fire and rehire’ as one of the scandals of our age’. She believes a growing number of employers think that ‘now is the time' to take advantage of the pandemic and attack workers’ wages and conditions. She says that Unite will defend the jobs pay and conditions of its members wherever they come under attack.

Step forward

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is a step forward that the Labour Conference has moved to condemn the scourge of fire and rehire. Unite will continue to take action at the workplace to defeat the employers using this practice. It is a brutal assault on wages and conditions. 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.”

Act of blackmail

Moving the motion Unite senior lay activist, Philippa Marsden, said: "Fire and rehire is an act of blackmail by employers. But we can beat back these attacks. At British Airways, our members stopped the worst of the cuts. At Go North West, bus drivers stood firm and the company backed down.

 "At Weetabix our members are in the middle of industrial action against a fire and rehire wage grab. We will do all it takes to stop this there too. But it should not be legal to do this to workers".


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

 For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

 Email: [email protected]

 Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.