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GMB British Gas engineers face mass April 1 sackings as strike continues

25 Mar 2021
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GMB British Gas members begin strike days 39 to 42 tomorrow as workers face mass sackings on April 1

Engineers have been told they must sign acceptance of a 15 per cent pay cut – and other detrimental changes to terms and conditions – by 12 noon today or face being fired.

Those who do not sign will not be paid lump sum payments of up to £4,500 and other so-called ‘protected terms’ offered by British Gas.

On Monday [March 29] the company will give formal notice of termination for staff who have not accepted the imposed changes.

Then on Thursday [April 1] those who don’t sign up to the cuts will be sacked with pay in lieu of the up to 12 weeks’ notice that the company are required to give.

GMB members in this bargaining group have already overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected these imposed changes.

GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute between British Gas and GMB from April 1 unless the company pulls back from the brink.

It also instructed the dispute leaders to consult on further strike dates and other appropriate action.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Mr O’Shea - CEO of British Gas - has unilaterally created an April 1 cliff edge to sack his workers and is driving the company at high speed toward it.

“If Mr O’Shea goes ahead with this reckless action, GMB has agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute with British Gas from April 1.

“There will also be further strikes and other appropriate action in this deadlocked dispute.

“For the CEO to gamble the future of a profitable business on a strategic decision of mass sackings is illogical. It will leave everyone bewildered.

“It is all the more illogical in that from the recent talks at ACAS, Mr O’Shea apologised for undermining trust by accepting dodgy legal advice to go ahead with fire and rehire and promised never ever to go down this road again.

“There is still time to pull back. Mr O’Shea should do what’s right for the business, the customers and the workers and take the April 1 deadline off the table.”

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