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14 Nov 2021


UK: Clarks workers march in protest against 'fire-and-rehire' policy after rejecting new proposal as not 'good enough'

"Somerset: Clarks staff march in protest at 'fire-and-rehire' policy" 14 November 2021

Striking Clarks workers have marched through Street as part of their ongoing fight over the firm's "fire and rehire" policy.

Some staff have been on strike since October after the shoe retailer introduced contracts which, they claim, would equate to a pay cut of up to 20%.

Workers told the BBC they felt "upset" and "hurt" after "years of loyalty".

Clarks said it had "conceded on a number of terms" and 53% of staff had accepted the new deal.

Part of this included a 5.6% pay rise for workers based on its original proposal.

This was not enough to satisfy the striking warehouse workers who are being supported by union Community.

They said the offer "still isn't good enough and represents a pay cut"...

It would also include the abolition of paid 30-minute meal breaks and daily 10-minute coffee breaks, and cuts in sick pay and redundancy entitlements.

Francis Foley said he had not taken a sick day in 34 years until the new terms and conditions were announced.

"I've been off with depression because it affected me,"...

"I collapsed one morning going to work [and] cracked my head open...

Employee Trevor Stephens said the changes were "barbaric".

"It will mean a complete change in lifestyle for most people that we can't afford," he added.

"Most of us live pay cheque to pay cheque. I run the real risk of not having a flat [and] if that is the case then I don't get to see my kids."...

Adrian Axtell, Community Union's national secretary, called for mediation but warned that "it has got to be a serious attempt to try to resolve this matter".