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Tesco loses ‘fire and rehire’ court battle

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

The BBC reports that Tesco has said it is examining its legal options after losing a court battle over contracts with some workers at its Livingston distribution centre.

Retail trade union Usdaw won a temporary interdict in the Court of Session on Friday over what the union called a “fire and rehire” policy. It means Tesco cannot terminate workers there and re-engage them on new terms which do not retain their rate of pay. Usdaw had claimed some staff could lose between £4,000 and £19,000 a year.

The judgement applies to the Livingston site only, although the union said it would continue to fight for workers in the Litchfield, Daventry clothing and Avonmouth Tesco distribution centres.

Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness said: “We are very pleased to have secured this victory for our members who faced a huge cut in wages after Tesco moved to renege on a long-standing collective agreement made in good faith.

“It is a major victory in the fight against ‘fire and rehire’ tactics, which are now being used by too many businesses.

“The court delivered a temporary prohibition and we are now calling on the company to honour the judgment and withdraw its plans at all sites.

“We stand ready to seek a permanent interdict for Livingston and a High Court injunction for the other sites to defend this unfair pay cut for hundreds of key workers.”

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