Striking Sheerness dock workers hit by GB Terminals’ fire and rehire ‘disgrace’
- Wednesday 19 January 2022
Sheerness dock workers striking over job cuts and changes to minimum overtime hours have been served with fire and rehire notices, Unite said today (Wednesday 19 January 2022).
The fire and rehire notices will affect more than 30 GB Terminals staff, who process Volkswagen Group vehicles, including Audi, Porsche and Skoda models, for dispatch that arrive in Sheerness by car transporter ferries.
If the workers do not sign the new contracts, which force through the changes the workers are striking over, they will lose their jobs when their current contracts end.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GB Terminals fire and rehire actions are a disgrace.
“Unite will not allow our members’ jobs, pay and conditions to be trampled on. If GB Terminals does not rescind this abhorrent ‘fire and rehire’ strategy, make no mistake, the union will fight back. One way or another the union is going to ensure that our members are treated fairly and decently.”
The workers have taken two days of strike action during January, with two more 24 hour strikes taking place on 20 January and 27 January.
The strike will intensify in the coming weeks, with 21 days of strike action in February and 20 days in March.
The strikes, set when 2022 registered cars are being imported into the UK, will impact the supply of new plate VW Group vehicles into the UK.
Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone said: “Unite warned that GB Terminals was planning to become the latest UK company to add its name to the fire and rehire wall of shame. This greedy and underhand behaviour shows why our members were forced to strike in the first place.
“If GB Terminals believes these fire and rehire notices will somehow put paid to the strikes, they are sorely mistaken. Our members are more determined than ever to prevent these attacks on their jobs and working hours going through.”
Notes to editors:
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
Email: [email protected]
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.