WORKERS at Clarks distribution centre in Somerset will be marching through Clarks Village this weekend to protest against the controversial 'fire and rehire' tactics.

The shoemaker has been consulting employees on 'proposed changes to employment terms and conditions', with unions branding the move a 'fire and rehire' scheme, which sees employees told to accept new conditions, or face being sacked.

If they accept them, they are 'rehired' under the new conditions.

Unions say the Clarks scheme would see many workers receive a cut in pay, an increase in working hours, cuts in sick pay and a reduction in redundancy entitlements, among others.

The firm says the move is to 'achieve sustainable employment costs' and to bring 'fairness' between workers who currently receive different rates of pay. However, they have now agreed to a 5.6 per cent pay rise for workers.

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Workers voted to go on strike on October 4. The workers currently on strike, their families and their supporters will march through Clarks Village on Saturday (November 13) to protest against 'fire and rehire' and ask Clarks to reconsider.

READ MORE: Support for workers on strike at Clarks distribution centre in Street

Roy Rickhuss CBE, general secretary of the trade union representing the workers Community, said: “Over the past month, workers at Clarks have been overwhelmed by the outpouring support that people from across the country have given them.

"Fire-and-rehire is cruel and wrong, and everyone is aware of this. Sadly, this has lead to no progress with Clarks and their plans will be continuing.

"Clarks is a staple brand on the British high street, with a history dating back over a century. Their roots in their local community go even deeper.

"There once was a time where Clarks built schools, libraries and theatres for their workers and their families in Somerset.

"This is a betrayal of their roots, and everything Clarks once stood for.

"We are protesting on Saturday to send a message to Clarks that we stand strong and we will resist these changes at every turn. We do not want to be on strike, and we do not want to be protesting.

"We urge Clarks to call off the diminishing of terms and conditions and reconsider this move.

"We remain ready and waiting for productive discussions on how we can succeed together going forward when they are.”

Clarks has announced today (November 11) that 53 per cent of Westway employees have now signed the new terms and conditions.

The company has agreed to increase the pay for Westway employees by 5.6 per cent to £10.03 per hour, to recognised the Government's recent announcement on the national minimum wage increase.

"That proposal was rejected out of hand by Community, with no counter-proposal," said a spokesperson for Clarks.

"We call on Community to engage in meaningful discussions, without preconditions, so that we can bring this dispute to an end."

The fire and rehire claims come after the firm was taken over by Asian investment company LionRock in a £100m rescue deal.

READ MORE: LionRock Capital invest £100m to save Clarks shoes in Street, Somerset

The demonstration march will be held at 11am from the Clarks Shoes Westway Distribution Centre, and the workers and supporters will march through Clarks Village.

Clarks Village was established in 1993 on the site of old C&J Clark factory buildings and is named after the family.

Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: “I look forward to joining the protest on Saturday.

"Clarks deserves to be called out for the appalling way it has treated staff. Forcing workers to re-apply for their jobs on worse and conditions is just plain wrong.

"Generations of families have worked for and contributed to the success of Clarks shoes. This a lousy way to reward that service.

"The company must get around the table with unions and agree a fair settlement. ‘Fire and rehire’ tactics should have no place in modern Britain.”

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