Renfrewshire MP Gavin Newlands has joined forces with representatives from across the political divide to call for tougher action and protection for workers being forced into wages cuts.

Newlands has gathered the signatures of nearly 100 other MPs from every party in the UK Parliament for his open letter to the UK Business Secretary asking for action to protect workers threatened with the sack.

Following his Bill being lodged in June, support has grown for measures to stop unscrupulous bosses using coronavirus to slash wages and conditions, with UK Labour leader Keir Starmer the latest to get behind the change.

Currently employees have no protection against bosses threatening the sack if workers don’t accept wage cuts, with thousands of British Airways staff recently seeing their pay reduced by up to 60%.

Photo: Cross-party letter sent to Rishi Sunak, Business Secretary, on fire and rehire Bill

But countries such as Ireland and Spain have guaranteed their workers’ rights and outlawed the tactics in their nations, and now the cross-party group of MPs has called on the UK Government to follow suit.

Newlands, MSP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “I want to thank my colleagues from every single party represented in the Commons who signed my open letter. We’ve shown how MPs can work across parties to campaign for real change that will benefit real people.

“The UK Government should be in doubt of the breadth and strength of feeling on this issue. I’ve been clear from the start that my Bill stands no chance of becoming law without Government support, so it is crucial that we continue to put pressure on the decision-makers to act.

“More than ever, workers need security and dignity as we try to stop the spread of this deadly virus, and protecting in law their right not to be bullied into wage cuts under threat of the dole would be one important step in making that happen.

“Ultimately whether it’s my Bill that makes it through or one of the UK Government’s own design is irrelevant – what matters is that action is taken quickly to prevent thousands more workers being the victim of Dickensian bosses.”