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.
GMB members in British Gas have announced five more days of strike action over the company’s fire and rehire pay cuts. The new dates, for 24 hours each day, are Wednesday January 20, Friday January 22, Monday January 25, Friday January 29 and Monday February 1.
British Gas workers rejected the company's fire and rehire pay cuts with an overwhelming 89% ‘yes’ vote for strike action. Scores of engineers filed reports of bullying and intimidation by British Gas management during the first strike using a reporting helpline launched by GMB.
Centrica PLC recorded a group-wide operating profit of £901m in 2019, according to company accounts. And Centrica declared an adjusted operating profit of £229 million for its domestic heating business in the UK for the six months to 30 June 2020 – up 27 per cent on the same period in the previous year.
The announcement of the new strike days coincided with the launch a national strike fund with an appeal to branches and members of GMB and trade union bodies. The GMB Central Executive Council launched the appeal with a sum of £250,000 into the fund.
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.”