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Article

10 Nov 2021

Author:
Ben King, BBC News

UK: Union accuses Clarks of hiring agency workers during 'fire and rehire' strike

"Clarks accused of using agency workers to cover strike", 10 November 2021

...Clarks is in a dispute with a trade union over the alleged use of agency workers to cover a strike at its warehouse in Somerset.

The Community union has complained to government about one case and says it is investigating more.

Using agency workers to break a strike is against the law...

A number of employment agencies are advertising positions as warehouse operatives at the site...

Clarks confirms that it is using agency workers at the site, but it denies that they are doing the work of striking workers.

It says that while individual agency workers come and go, their total number never exceeds the number employed at the beginning of the strike.

“Throughout this period of industrial action, Clarks has been acting according to the law. Clarks is not using agency workers to cover employees who are on strike,” the company said in a statement.

Community... complained to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about one particular individual.

He was employed as a general worker but was seen on a number of occasions driving a forklift which was usually driven by a worker who was on strike...

Clarks says it has shown the union details of the agency workers it is employing to demonstrate that they are operating within the law.

However the union remains unhappy with the use of agency workers at the warehouse. A spokesperson said: “we are continuing to investigate further wrongdoing and will appeal this with the relevant agencies wherever it may be found."...

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