GMB win: Fire & re-hire off the table at Synergy LMS.

11 Jun 2021
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GMB win: Fire & re-hire off the table at Synergy LMS.

GMB Midland & East Coast has today welcomed the news that Synergy LMS senior management have agreed to proceed with negotiations with GMB officials, without the threat of ‘fire & re-hire' of it's workforce.

The Derby based company, which is a major provider to the NHS and the second largest provider of commercial linen, had sparked alarm by threatening the move, which has been widely condemned as a deeply unfair employment practise.

Fire & rehire sees workers contracts terminated, only to be re-employed with significantly worse terms and conditions.

The decision to remove the threat of fire & re-hire in these negotiations will see industrial action, scheduled to start this week, paused as discussions re-start. A recent ballot of GMB members had seen a return of 90%+ vote in favour of taking industrial action against the company.

GMB Midland & East Coast’s campaign against fire & re-hire at the company had seen support from political heavy-weights including Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner MP and Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP.

Over 300 local Derby people had also backed the GMB’s open letter to Synergy LMS and added their names to the union’s calls to scrap fire & re-hire at the company.

Tina Wright, GMB Rep at Synergy LMS, said:

“On behalf of all GMB members at Synergy LMS, I welcome senior management’s decision to remove the threat of fire & re-hire in these negotiations.

All the workers at Synergy LMS want what’s best for the company and have given their all to getting through these tough months; it’s only right that we go into these negotiations without the threat of fire & re-hire hanging over our members”.

Mick Coppin, GMB Midland & East Coast Regional Organiser, said:

“Synergy LMS have made the right decision to step back from the brink. Our members at Synergy LMS felt completely let down by senior management and their support for action against fire & re-hire was overwhelming.

We’ll be moving into these negotiations with a clear head and a commitment to get the best deal for GMB members. Fire & re-hire is wrong, and the decision to take it off the table in these negotiations is a promising move”.

Martin Allen, GMB Midland & East Coast Regional Secretary, said:

“Fire & re-hire is plain wrong and I’m delighted Synergy LMS have listened to our calls and removed the threat of fire & re-hire in negotiations with its workforce.

As a major provider to our treasured National Health Service, it is right that we hold companies like Synergy LMS to account when they treat their workforce without the dignity and respect they’ve earned.

GMB is a fighting union that always campaigns for it’s members. If you’re not already a member, join today and get the GMB on your side where you work”.


For further details and comment contact Finbar Bowie GMB Midland & East Coast Region Political Officer on 07850 857553.

Pictures and interviews available on request.

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