By Isabel Ringrose
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Weetabix workers need to escalate their action now

Issue 2778
Weetabix strikers have been visiting supermarkets to publicise their battle and call for support
Weetabix strikers have been visiting supermarkets to publicise their battle and call for support (Pic: Stop Weetabix Fire & Rehire! on Twitter)

Weetabix workers entered their sixth week of strikes this week against plans to fire and rehire around 70 engineers in Northamptonshire.

The plans will see the Unite union members lose up to £5,000 a year.

Tory MPs defeated a bill to outlaw fire and rehire that was put forward by Barry Gardiner MP in parliament last week.

Junior business minister Paul Scully spoke for more than 40 minutes to ensure the bill ran out of time.

The Tories claim they oppose fire and rehire but want to leave it up to bosses to have a rethink rather than pass laws.

And they demand that companies going bust must have the option of slashing pay.

But nearly 70 percent of firms using fire and rehire—including Weetabix—make a profit.

Lead

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham posted on social media, “The politicians have failed, it is time for the trade union movement to take the lead.

“If we are forced outside of the law to defend working people, so be it.

“Enough is enough.”

Graham must be ready to put her words into action quickly.

With the Weetabix strikes currently set to finish by the end of November, Unite has to up the pressure on bosses to prevent fire and hire.

Shifting the Weetabix strike to an all-out dispute, as opposed to a series of 48-hour strikes, would ensure a greater chance of success.

But Unite has to be willing to put its money where its mouth is and to fully financially support its members on strike.

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