Employment rights under threat

In recent months there has been a steady stream of news about consultations and proposals from the government and various advisors and lobby groups about worsening employment rights under the guise of “flexibility” “competitiveness” and cutting “red tape”.
Most startling were the proposals in the report from Adrian Beecroft.  Far from being an expert on employment issues, he is a venture capitalist.  Beecroft is chairman of Dawn Capital, which has a large stake in Wonga.com, one of the “pay day lenders” that rely for their profits on the existence of a large pool of people in low-paid, irregular and vulnerable employment.
Amongst the proposals under discussion are:

  • Fees for workers to access Employment Tribunals (but no fees for the many employers who put workers through hell pointlessly contesting and delaying cases)
  • “Protected conversations” where an employer could try to “persuade” an employee to accept money to leave without the employee being able to complain about what they say – a license to bully that could make lawful some of the current dodgy practice around Compromise Agreements
  • Turning maternity pay into a state administered benefit, discouraging employers from paying more than the legal minimum
  • Removing redress from millions of workers in smaller companies if they are unfairly dismissed.  The government has already changed the law to allow employers to unfairly dismiss workers who have between one and two years’ service – a change expected to impact about 2.7m workers.

For more information on the changes and the campaign against them, see http://stopemploymentwrongs.org/.
The TUC has called a national demonstration for “a future that works” against the government’s austerity and cuts for 20th October.  UNITE is organising transport from around the country – if you’re able to join a contingent from Fujitsu please get in touch.  For more details of the demonstration see http://afuturethatworks.org/.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK are taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included strikes and ongoing action short of strike. Further strikes have been called for 22, 25, 26 May.

This follows the recent resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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