MP COLUMN: An all-out assault on workers' rights

Over the course of the last year we have seen the backdrop of the pandemic as well as our exit from the EU being used to launch an all-out assault on workers’ rights.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 7:00 am
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

Most notably has been the practise of fire and rehire. This is where companies fire an employee and then rehire the same worker on contracts worth less pay and with worse job security.

High profile examples of this have been at Heathrow airport, British Gas and British Airways. These companies have taken advantage of the pandemic to exploit their workers into signing contracts worth less than their previous ones.

For this reason, it is now more important than ever to be a member of a union.

This week marks Heart Unions Week, a week dedicated to showcasing the importance of being a member of a union, especially now.

Unions have already shown their importance throughout the pandemic. The Unite strikes at the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick has saved 350 jobs, and the strikes at British Gas are leading the way in the battle against fire and rehire.

The backlash from Labour MPs and the unions was also crucial in forcing the government to back down on their ‘review’ of workers’ rights post Brexit.

This week I have been speaking to different unions representatives live on Facebook about the key battles facing workers now and the role unions can play in fighting on their behalf, and as a result why everyone should be a member.

Visit my Facebook at Ian Lavery MP to view the videos.

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP