Unions are putting pressure on the government to introduce greater rights for workers ahead of the TUC conference, saying the Gate Gourmet dispute highlights the "serious inadequacies in UK employment law".
In a letter to Alan Johnson, secretary of state for trade and industry, the General Council of the TUC urged the government to "assess urgently the adequacy of UK labour law" in four key areas:
protecting strikers from dismissal
barring the replacement of workers in dispute
permitting lawful supportive action
simplifying balloting procedures
The letter read: "It cannot be acceptable in modern-day Britain that a ruthless employer can turn on the most vulnerable workers in this way with impunity.
"We sincerely hope these workers will receive the backing of this Labour government and that you will do all in your power to ensure that the deficiencies in employment law are addressed so that this darkest episode is not repeated."
The T&G will be making calls for change in employment legislation at TUC Congress (12-15 September) and at the Labour Party Conference (25-29 September).
Alan Johnson will address the TUC Congress next Wednesday.