GMB union members at British Gas have announced a national five day strike with immediate effect after the engineers parent company Centrica said it would initiate a “fire and rehire” scheme to cut workers pay and terms and conditions on pain of dismissal.
The strike comes after GMB conducted a strike ballot of 9,000 members in December 2020 in which an overwhelming 89% voted in favour of industrial action.
The union said it will be calling on the public to ask why British Gas CEO Chris O’Shea is “provoking an engineers’ strike” with “fire and rehire” pay cuts, in the depths of winter.
Justin Bowden, national secretary for GMB, said: “British Gas boss Chris O’Shea’s attempts to bully workers into accepting cuts to their pay and terms and conditions has provoked this inevitable outcome – massive disruption to customers in the depths of winter and a stain on the reputation of an historic company and brand.
“GMB is calling on the public to ask why British Gas CEO Mr O’Shea is provoking an engineers’ strike with ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts, in the depths of winter. This is against the backdrop of the company reporting operating profits of £901m in the latest available annual accounts.”