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UK unions demand equal rights for temporary staff

While Gordon Brown was last year forced to give in to a union led campaign to give agency and temporary staff the same rights as permanent staff with regards to holidays and wages, it would appear that a further battle is brewing for 2009. Brought about by the sacking of hundreds of BMW staff just last week in the UK with literally no notice, the unions have now taken up the case for equal rights with regards to redundancy notice and pay.

Many of the agency workers had been working at the BMW mini plant for some years and literally found out they were out of a job when they reported for their shift. They were given no notice of the termination of employment arrangements and were effectively cut adrift. A number of Labour backbench MPs have now stepped into the limelight to fight the cause for agency workers of the UK with the number estimated at 1.2 million people.

There is sure to be a serious backlash from businesses around the UK who will see their cost bases substantially increased overnight at a time when they can least afford it. Whether the UK government will attempt to delay or diffuse the situation or cave into the various parties putting pressure on it remains to be seen.

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