Clarks shoes workers at a warehouse in Somerset are considering strike action over the company’s plans to fire them and then re-hire them on worse terms.
Clarks is now majority-owned by Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital rather than the Clarks family itself. Almost 110 of Clark’s 145 warehouse staff in Somerset are on contracts signed before LionRock’s takeover, which are more generous than those offered to recent hires.
Affected staff are reportedly being asked to accept a new contract which would reduce pay by around 15 per cent, along with three fewer days’ holiday, worse terms around sick leave, and eliminate 10-minute breaks and complimentary hot drinks.
The union representing those workers, Community, has said all options were being considered – including strike action – to fight the controversial fire and rehire move.
A Clarks spokesperson said: “Clarks is currently consulting with unions and employees at our Westway Distribution Centre in Street, Somerset on proposed changes to employment terms and conditions for all operatives. As we are in a period of consultation, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”
A poll conducted by the Unite union found 70% of the public want “fire and rehire” to be made illegal.
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