Further five-day GMB strike announced as ‘fire and rehire’ row continues with British Gas

The industrial action is set to start on 20th January

The Big Zero report

British Gas engineers have announced five more days of strike action over the company’s ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts.

The industrial action, which will start on 20th January and will run on 22nd, 25th, 29th and 1st February, follows last week’s strike over a dispute over alleged cuts to workers pays, terms and conditions.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “A profitable British Gas provoked their loyal staff into strike action in the depths of winter by refusing to heed their overwhelming rejection of the fire and rehire pay cuts.

“They have now ignored a five-day demonstration by the engineers that the proposals are not acceptable. They are forcing further disruption on their customers all the way into next month because of the new strike dates.

“British Gas should recognise that the only way to end the disruption they provoked is to take fire and rehire pay cuts off the table.”

A Centrica spokesperson said: “We have done everything we can with the GMB to avoid industrial action. Whilst we’ve made great progress with our other unions, sadly the GMB leadership seems intent on causing disruption to customers during the coldest time of the year, amid a global health crisis and in the middle of a national lockdown.

“Over 83% of our workforce have already accepted our new terms, in which base pay and pensions are protected, including a significant majority of GMB members.

“This shows most of our people understand that our business needs to change because customer needs are changing. GMB’s mandate for strike action is weak; they are fighting against modernisation and changes which will help to protect well-paid jobs in the long term and are doing so at a time that our country needs everyone to pull together.”

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