M&S contractor denies ‘fire and re-hire’ claims by GMB union
Cleaning contractor GSA says M&S was not involved in the dispute because the issue was entirely linked to its own payroll department
7 September 2022
A Marks & Spencer contractor, which provides a cleaning service at the retailer’s distribution centre in Thorncliffe, South Yorkshire, has denied claims made by GMB Union that it is threatening staff with ‘fire and rehire’ tactics if they do not accept a pay cut from £11.41 per hour to £10 per hour.
While GMB described the move as “disgraceful and callous,” the contractor, GS Associates, said that the issue arose from a payroll error.
According to the union, “GMB members employed by GS Associates, who provide a cleaning service at a Marks & Spencer distribution centre in Thorncliffe, South Yorkshire, have been told their hourly rate of pay is to be cut – at the instruction of the retail giant.”
However, GSA refuted this, stating that M&S was not involved in the dispute because the issue was entirely linked to its own payroll department.
GSA said that staff pay had previously been set at £10 per hour. However, an administrative error in the April payroll caused a higher rate to be paid. MD Lisa Laird said the the issue was then resolved the following month.
Once the payroll issue was sorted out, staff were “happy to revert” to the previously agreed rate, she said.
Laird added that if the error had just involved just “a few pence”, GSA would have been happy to apply the higher rate in future, but that it was too high an increase to absorb in the long-term.
The company had previously agreed with employees to increase pay from £8.95 per hour to £10 per hour, a proposal that had been approved by M&S.