“Could I be next?”
That is what loyal workers all over Britain were left wondering after P&O sacked 800 staff by Zoom.
So often we think, “That could never happen to me” - until it does.
The truth is that over the past couple of years workers at British Gas, Tesco, JDE, British Airways, even Clark’s Shoes have found themselves in the same firing line.
They’ve gone into work as usual only to be told by their bosses: “You’re fired! But if you want your own job back, you can come in tomorrow and sign a new contract on worse terms and conditions.”
How is this happening in Britain in the 21st Century?
When I first started campaigning to stop this fire and rehire tactic over a year ago people didn’t believe there was a problem.
They said it must be against the law - after all, these workers had a contract, that must mean something?
Well, now we know the shameful truth - the law in our country protects bosses not workers.
That is why I drafted my Stop Fire and Rehire Bill.
It put good practice into law and penalised bad employers like P&O who failed to consult and negotiate with their workforce.
It would have stopped P&O in their tracks and allowed workers to secure an injunction to reverse these sackings.
Sadly, that Bill was blocked by the Government.
So the next time you hear Tory ministers saying how disgraceful P&O have been and how appalled they are that loyal workers have been treated with such contempt, ask them why they filibustered to block the very Bill that would have prevented it.
Insecurity in the workplace is not an accident - it is government policy.
We need new employment laws now.
Thank you to the Mirror for always championing fairness for working people.