A TRADE union is warning bosses at shoe giant Clarks that their entire Somerset operation could strike over new contract proposals.

All workers at the shoe manufacturer and retailer's headquarters in Street, including clerical and warehouse staff, could walk out if the plans aren't dropped, according to a statement released by Unite the Union this week.

Representing around 200 Clarks headquarters staff, Unite said its members are considering strike action after being told they will be ‘fired’ from their old employment contracts and ‘re-hired’ on new ones.

More than 100 Clarks warehouse staff, who are members of the Community Union, as well as a smaller amount of warehouse staff who are members of Unite, are also considering strike action over similar proposals.

Unite said that it will work with Community to stop the "fire and re-hire attacks", including coordinating any potential strike action.

Under the proposals put forward by Clarks, taken over by Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital earlier this year, Unite members would see reductions in overtime rates, sick pay, parental leave, redundancy packages and call out pay.

READ MORE: 'How do we pay the bills?' Staff at Clarks' anger over 'fire and rehire' plans

Unite regional officer, Gareth Lowe, said: “Our members are rightly angry at the employer’s threats to fire and re-hire which will cause a dramatic fall in their terms and conditions.

“The strength of feeling amongst staff is such that Unite will hold a consultative ballot over whether to take strike action.

“Unite will work alongside Community to fight these attacks and Clarks should be aware that if strike action is coordinated the company’s entire operations in Street will come to a halt.

“We urge Clarks to drop its unnecessary plans to hack at the terms and conditions of its loyal and dedicated staff.”

Howard Beckett, Unite's assistant general secretary for politics and legal, said: “It's quite clear that the public is firmly on the side of working people when it comes to the horrific practice of fire and re-hire.

"There is no grey area here. They see that this is an objectionable practice that should be banned. The government has to get on the same page as the voters on this – and fast."

The trade union has also endorsed Labour MP Barry Gardiner's private members bill to outlaw fire and re-hire, which he presented to Parliament in June.

A Clarks spokesperson previously said the firm was consulting with unions and employees 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,” they added.