Opinion Former Article

Unite: How does making it easier to sack people, reduce unemployment?

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has accused the Tory-led government of trying to sneak through a major attack on employment rights tomorrow (13 March), which means workers will have no protection from unfair dismissal for two years.

The move will be a significant attack on young people. If they are lucky enough to find a job in Coalition Britain, they will then be constantly looking over their shoulder, worried about being sacked when their face doesn’t fit at any time in two years.

The government is trying to push through the change without a debate in the chamber. Instead the outcome will be decided amongst the maze of committee room's in the House of Commons tomorrow at 4.30pm.

In 1999, the Labour government changed the law to reduce the qualifying period for unfair dismissal from two years to 12 months. The coalition are now turning to turn the clocks back thirteen years, despite there being no evidence to support the change.

If the government pushes through this legislation it will mean 2.7 million employees will lose out on unfair dismissal rights. Even Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, recently said that slashing employment rights will do nothing to boost the economy.

Unite is urging MPs from all parties to attend the obscure Delegated Legislation Committee and oppose the change.

Unite general secretary, Len McCLuskey said:

"This is the beginning of a major assault on working people's rights at work. This sneak attack will set employment rights back 13 years. We are urging fair minded MPs of all parties to oppose it.

"Britain is in the middle of the worst economic crisis of a generation. With unemployment spiralling upwards, the Tories perversely believe that making it easier for bad bosses to sack workers is good for the economy. How does making it easier to sack people, reduce unemployment?

"The workplace will no longer have an entry and an exit, hopefully with a career path in between, but a revolving door pushing people in and out of work in a dizzying fashion.
"There is no justification for this change. It will create a culture of fear in workplaces across the country and allow bosses to bully their staff."

ENDS
Notes to editors: A comment piece from Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, can be found on http://labourlist.org/2012/03/tomorrow-britain-will-be-set-back-13-years/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LabourListLatestPosts+%28LabourList%29
Contact:Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

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