Don’t let employers start using agency workers to break strikes

Aside Posted on

Going to Work
Hovis workers on strike in 2013. Photo: John Harris / Report Digital

Two years ago bakery workers at Hovis in Wigan took strike action and won a landmark victory over zero-hours work in their factory, safeguarding an important source of secure employment for the town.

But new government plans to let employers use agency workers to cover striking workers’ jobs mean that by this time next year, their action and the important concessions they won will be impossible for other workers.

Don’t let employers start using agency workers to break strikes

Business Secretary Sajid Javid is seeking to overturn a long-running ban on employers using agency workers to break strikes, alongside other restrictive measures in the Government’s new Trade Union Bill. The new measures will make the fundamental right to strike almost meaningless.

Employers will get 14 days’ notice of a strike (rather than 7 currently), and will be able to recruit agency temps – potentially younger workers on zero-hours and minimum wage contracts – to take over the jobs of striking workers.

The agency workers themselves would face a stressful situation, being brought in to undermine existing workers. Limited training in operating difficult machinery or vehicles could lead to real safety risks for people covering strikers’ shifts, and even the wider public. Service quality could suffer too.

But ultimately, if the employer is able to silence a dispute by just replacing workers, future strikes could have little or no effect against even the worst injustices at work.

We’re campaigning against this damaging change and other equally harmful measures in the Trade Union Bill. We’re starting with a petition to show Sajid Javid that people can see the dangers in his plans. Please join us and help make this as big as we can, to protect the fundamental right to strike for all UK workers.

Don’t let employers start using agency workers to break strikes

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s