Tesco 'fire and hire' tactics at Livingston distribution centre prompt call for Holyrood inquiry

A Holyrood committee is being urged to launch and inquiry into employers’ “fire and rehire” tactics because of growing concerns about Tesco’s plans to cut the pay of 290 workers at its Livingston distribution centre.

Around 290 staff at the Livingston depot are affected by the proposed pay cut
Around 290 staff at the Livingston depot are affected by the proposed pay cut

Almond Valley SNP MSP Angela Constance has written to the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and fair work committee suggesting it holds an evidence session on the issue.

Tesco is telling a large group of employees at Livingston to accept new contracts which would cut their pay by between £4,000 and £13,000 or risk redundancy with the prospect of re-applying for their own jobs.

Ms Constance said: "Fire and re-hire tactics will result in almost 300 Livingston workers becoming poorer and Tesco are reneging on a previous agreement with the workforce over retained pay.

"As Tesco are not listening to reasonable calls from the workforce and trade union representatives to pause and negotiate, I am asking the committee to hold an evidence session on the impact of fire and re-hire tactics on fair work in Scotland.

"My MP colleagues will continue to press the UK Government with respect to employment law, but it is imperative that the actions of Tesco are scrutinised here in Scotland too. During the pandemic distribution workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the nation is fed and they deserve and need our support.”

The company – whose profits soared by 29 per cent in the first half of last year – has said it plans to phase out the pay top-up because the vast majority of it 16,000 distribution workforce across the UK do not receive it.

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