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Unions demand Sadiq Khan outlaws “fire and rehire” bus companies as Go Ahead workers strike

Jim Armitage
·1-min read

The Unite union today called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to outlaw so-called “fire and rehire” employment contracts on the capital’s bus services.

Unions are opposing what they call “disgraceful” policies carried out by some employers to rewrite workplace contracts and put staff on worse terms.

Unite claims the Go Ahead group, which is one of the biggest London bus operators, has been carrying out fire and rehire actions in the North West, and is hoping to pressurise Khan to prevent it happening in the capital.

“The mayors have the power to outlaw fire and rehire by barring employers which use this immoral tactic from bidding for bus contracts controlled by Transport for London,” it said.

The union is also demanding Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor in Manchester, to do the same.

It claims Go North West’s bus drivers will be forced to work for longer with no additional pay, claiming they are expected to do 130 hours of unpaid work per year, equating to £2500-worth of unpaid labour.

A Go North West spokesperson denied each of those claims, saying: “Unite continues to make wild claims over supposed pay cuts, job losses and what they misleadingly call ‘fire and rehire’ that bear no resemblance whatsoever to the facts.”

The company said Go North West was losing nearly £2 million a year “due to outdated work practices” and said the plans included no job cuts, guaranteed pay increases this year and next and a £1500 lump sum for drivers.

It said 80% of drivers signed up to the new agreement but that Unite had balloted for strike action anyway.

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