Twelve new days of strike action announced at British Gas

05 Feb 2021
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British Gas boss O’Shea is pressing on despite telling Parliament his acceptance of ‘dodgy’ legal advice led to strikes

GMB has today announced 12 more days of British Gas strike action in the fire and rehire dispute which is now expected to continue until at least April.

The new 12 days will follow four days of strike action starting today [Friday February 5 – Monday February 8].

The fresh industrial action will be in three lots of four-day strikes, each beginning at 00.01 hours on February 12, February 19 and February 26 - ending at 23.59 on March 1.

A meeting of GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) on Tuesday determined industrial action until the middle of April.

Around 7,000 British Gas engineers have stood firm during 12 days of industrial action in anger against imposed cuts to their terms and conditions which would see many expected to work up to 150 extra unpaid hours a year.

The union claims there are more than 170,000 homes in a backlog for repairs and 200,000 planned annual service visits have been axed by the company.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said:

“GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) concluded the British Gas CEO is doubling down on his fire and rehire cuts in pay and conditions Field staff.

“In response, the CEC determined on strike action through to mid-April.

“Mr O’Shea is pressing on despite telling Parliament his acceptance of dodgy legal advice led to strikes and the breakdown of trust with his field staff.

“This in turn has led to more than 170,000 households already in a backlog for repairs and 200,000 service visits axed.

“The 83% figure is not relevant in that it mainly includes staff from other bargaining groups.

“The majority of the field staff are not prepared to accept the imposed cuts to pay and conditions.

“Mr O'Shea threw down the gauntlet to the gas engineers on hated fire and rehire and they picked it up.

“The CEC determined they should be supported on behalf of the entire membership of the union and other union members.

“Longer term, the practice of fire and rehire should be outlawed.

“The CEC will consider the matter again at its April meeting.”

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