Employee Relations

GMB criticises British Gas over ‘hated’ fire and rehire plans

The news comes after 5,000 jobs were cut last summer with the company facing a huge backlog after weeks of industrial action

GMB Union has “slammed” British Gas over the announcement it will begin redundancy consultations on further job losses.

The news comes after 5,000 jobs were cut last summer with the company facing a huge backlog after weeks of industrial action.

The redundancies involve other bargaining groups outside of the company’s field staff bargaining group. Both groups were included in the “fire and rehire” cuts to terms and conditions of employment.

While other bargaining groups have now accepted the company’s proposals, the field staff bargaining group has rejected the “fire and rehire” cuts.

Instead, they have already taken part in 16 days of strike action. This is being followed by a further 12 days of action in three lots of four-day strikes, each starting at 00.01 hours on 12, 19 and 26 February – ending at 23.59 on 1 March.

A meeting of GMB’s central executive council (CEC) on Tuesday 2 February determined action in the deadlocked dispute in the field bargaining group until mid-April.

After 16 days of strikes, more than 210,000 homes are in a backlog for repairs and 250, 000 planned annual service visits were axed.

Justin Bowden, national secretary, GMB, said: “Instead of making yet more redundancies, the priority should be to resolve the industrial action it has provoked from its loyal workforce with its hated fire and rehire plans.

“British Gas is a company of underlying profitability, more job cuts are not the solution, it is a proper plan for growth that is urgently needed and which carries the workforce with it.”

He added: “Instead of making yet more redundancies, the priority should be to resolve the industrial action it has provoked from its loyal workforce with its hated fire and rehire plans.

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