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Contract changes will make British Gas 'less safe' say workers as strike continues

19 Mar 2021
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Poll of British Gas workers shows safety concerns as company set to fire and rehire workforce

Contract changes will make British Gas ‘less safe’ say engineers as they walk out today for strike day 35 of the ongoing fire and rehire dispute.

Thousands of British Gas workers responded to a GMB Union survey on the planned contract changes with 87% of respondents saying that the reduced times in which to conduct their work would make them less safe.

British Gas Engineers will walk out for four days from today to Monday, March 22 after the company proposed a pay cut of 15 per cent and increased ‘flexibility’ - which would severely impact on workers’ home lives and caring responsibilities.

Those who don’t agree to the new terms will be sacked. Strike days 35 to 38 will be followed by a meeting of GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC), which is the governing body of the union, on Tuesday, March 23 to consider the next steps in the dispute.

GMB has repeatedly called for fire and rehire to be taken off the table so they could reach a deal.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary said:

"British Gas workers are on strike today and the next four days in days 35 to 38 of action since January.

“British Gas is insisting on ploughing ahead with punitive changes to people's contracts when their workers customers and politicians of all stripes have told them it's wrong and the engineering workforce have twice rejected them.

“These new survey results from the frontline show that the changes don’t just mean less pay or time at home with the family, but less safe working conditions too.

“After 34 days of strikes, more than 300,000 homes are in a backlog for repairs and 400,000 planned annual service visits have been axed.

“The company is misleading the media that it is catching up after 24 hours.

“British Gas can still see sense, and we implore them to do so. The GMB executive (CEC) will consider next steps on how to respond on March 23 - with the possibility of calling further strike dates.”

 

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