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British Gas fire & rehire dispute ‘over’ after GMB members back improved pay deal

20 Jul 2021
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GMB Union will never forget British Gas actions but agreement provides way forward

GMB, the energy union, declared an end to the long and bitter British Gas fire and rehire dispute after workers backed a new, improved pay deal with a ration of 3 to 1.

Around 7,000 British Gas engineers staged 44 days of strike action after the company threatened to sack them if they didn’t sign up to detrimental changes to their terms and conditions.

In the end, almost 500 workers were dismissed.

After gruelling negotiations, a new deal offers improvements to overtime rates and unsocial hours payments, places limits on the amount of unsocial working undertaken, reverses the decision to close the defined benefit pension scheme to new starters and opens the door for those who left the business to return.

GMB members accepted the deal by 75.5% to 24.5%.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said:

“GMB Union will never forget British Gas’s unnecessary and cavalier actions over the past six months.

“But this new agreement does provide a way forward.

“We have listened to what our members wanted and have been able to deliver the improvements necessary to bring this dispute to an end.

“As a result of the deal, members will see significant improvements to their work life balance and will get a little bit more in the process.

“We have also kept the pension scheme open to new starters in the old service and repair division and crucially left the door open for those who were sacked to come back should they wish to do so.

“None of this would have been possible without the tremendous sacrifice of our members who should be commended for the stand they took.

“They have turned the practice of fire and rehire into a national issue and we will continue the campaign they started until this appalling practice is banned.”

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