Branches may be aware of Barry Gardiner (Labour) MPs current campaign to end the practice of fire and rehire that is being utilised by employers across the country.
This is a campaign that has a real chance of succeeding, as Barry’s efforts will culminate in a vote on his Private Member’s Bill in Parliament on the 21st of October.
A Private Member’s Bill is a public bill introduced by a MP who is not in government. Only a minority of these bills every become law and are generally used to create publicity around an issue. Ballot bills have the best chance of becoming law, as they get priority in Parliament for the limited amount of debating time that is set aside for these types of bills.
The names of MPs who apply for a bill are drawn in a ballot. Therefore, Barry Gardiner’s Bill about fire and rehire has a good chance of passing, as on Thursday 20 May, his bill was drawn second in the ballot out of 459. The other reason that Barry’s Bill has a good chance of passing is that Boris Johnson and other Conservative Cabinet members have
called out the practice of fire and rehire on the record, and there are now serious attempts to reach a cross-party consensus on outlawing the practice.
What can CWU Branches and members do to support the Bill?
Barry’s Bill will have its second reading in Parliament this month. To get as much support as possible, we are encouraging members to write to their MPs urging them to vote for the Bill when it comes to the House of Commons. Usually we would provide a link or a template email for members but Barry has requested that members write their own personal messages to their MPs as a way to ensure that they get a response on this important issue. The easiest way to find the contact details of your MP is to follow this link and type in your postcode:
Once you have done this you should be given their full contact information.
We have also organised for an online session to be held with branches where I will be joined by Barry to discuss the campaign, the introduction of the Bill and what it means as part of the wider New Deal for Workers campaign. Information about this session will be communicated later, but it will be held prior to the second reading of the Bill and within the next fortnight.
New Deal for Workers.
Ending the practice of fire and rehire is an important part of our wider campaign for a New Deal for Workers. It is fundamentally wrong that workers across the country are threatened with the sack and told that they will be re-employed to do the same job only if they accept less money and poorer conditions. The CWU must stand up and be counted in this debate, just as we have in showing solidarity with striking GMB workers in British Gas before. It is vital that trade unions continue to work together across both political and industrial issues, playing a wider role in society to bring about change now. This is a very practical way to be engaged in supporting those who are taking on the practice of fire and rehire, and we urge branches and members to get involved in the campaign and write individual messages to their MPs requesting that they support the Bill when it comes to a vote in Parliament.