Centrica trading update underlines British Gas has been and remains a profitable business

14 Jan 2021
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Disruption to customers is unnecessary and the fire and rehire pay cuts strike provoked by British Gas unjustified

A Trading Update for British Gas parent company Centrica today shows the fire and rehire pay cuts strike provoked by British Gas are unnecessary, GMB said today.

Following five days of initial strike action, thousands of British Gas workers are set to walk strike for a second time on January 20, 22, 25, 29 and February 1 in anger at Centrica boss Chris O’Shea’s threat to fire and rehire his workforce on pain of accepting cuts to terms and conditions.

The company is not responding in public to the more than 100,000 backlog of customer repairs and jobs.

Centrica reported an operating profit (before exceptional items and tax) of £901 million in 2019.

The operating profitability of its UK home heating business rose by 27 per cent in the first six months of 2020.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Today’s Centrica Trading Update today reports costs down, the business generating cash, the loss of customers halted and the earnings per share above market expectations. Centrica has been and remains a business of underlying profitability.

“The scale of the cuts and changes the business has said it will now impose by fire and rehire is not justified. Neither is the disruption to customers from the strike provoked by Mr O’Shea by threatening to fire and rehire their entire British Gas workforce, despite making close to a billion pounds in operating profit. It’s entirely unnecessary and these figures lay that bare.

“Instead of lashing out at its own workforce, who overwhelmingly rejected his plan and voted to take strike action, CEO Chris O’Shea should look closer to home; stop threatening to fire the entire engineer workforce and enter constructive discussions with GMB.”

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