British Gas is accused of lying about the ‘fire and rehire’ notices
London and East of England Gas Engineers new four-day strike tomorrow Friday 29th Jan as British Gas CEO O’Shea accused in Parliament of lying about ‘Fire and Rehire’ notices
British Gas provoked strikes leave more than 150,000 homes in a backlog for services and 200,000 planned annual service visits axed in January with more to come says GMB London
British Gas engineers and other staff in London and East of England begin a further four days national strike on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th, Sunday 31st January and Monday 1st February over ‘fire and rehire’ imposed pay 15% below agreed rates and other adverse changes.
There will be socially distanced protests across London and East of England, in London a protest has been organised outside
Centrica’s office in London, 20 Rathbone Place London W1, 09:00 - 12:00, Friday 29th January and Monday 1st February 2021
More locations will be added and notified to local media.
This four-day strike follows eight days of national strike action so far this month. See notes to editors for links to previous GMB London press releases on this.
Earlier this week Mr O’Shea British Gas CEO was accused by an MP in Parliament of lying to him about the ‘fire and rehire’ notices and on the support of the Labour leadership for his position. See below links to Hansard.
On Monday 25th January 2021 speaking to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng, Labour MP Stephen Doughty said he met with Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea in September 2020 who told him the company has not issued s188 notices to staff. See notes to editors below for text of the exchange in Parliament
In fact, Centrica issued s188 notices, which are a required advance notice of dismissal, to its entire UK workforce in July 2020 before negotiations had even started.
The eight days of strikes, provoked by a profitable British Gas, has led to a repair backlog of more than 150,000 homes, with 200,000 routine annual boiler service visits cancelled so far this month. Both figures are growing as further strike days planned happens.
GMB has accepted an invitation to appear at the BEIS Select Committee on Tuesday 2nd February as MP’s call British Gas boss Mr O’Shea to give evidence over their 'fire and rehire' notices.
Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Organiser for Energy said:
"British Gas is accused of lying about the ‘fire and rehire’ notices. It is also in denial about how the strikes affect customers and on the Field engineers rejection of the contract.
“The British Gas provoked strikes leave more than 150,000 homes in a backlog for services and 200,000 planned annual service visits were axed in January.
“Field engineers, as a separate bargaining group, have decisively rejected the contract with eight strike days against it. The only votes that count in this group are those of the Field engineers themselves. The 83% figure mainly covers other bargaining groups so it has no relevance to this dispute.
“The lethal mix of deceit, a failure to grasp reality and wishful thinking that engineers will acquiesce in pay 15% below agreed rates and other changes has led to a complete breakdown in industrial relations between British Gas and the Field engineers bargaining group.
“Sadly there is no respite in store for customers or staff. This is because British Gas so far fail to accept that the only way to end the dispute with this bargaining group is to take ‘fire and rehire” off the table.”
Contact: Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Organiser for Energy 078 5003 6952
Notes to editors
Text of the exchange in Parliament:
Stephen Doughty MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, told Parliament:
“In September of last year, I met the chief executive of British Gas about that specific dispute [with GMB members] and he tried to suggest that they were not using those tactics [fire and rehire], despite having written to members in July to do just that. “Does the Secretary of State agree that that is completely unacceptable in our labour market?”
Link to Hansard Parliamentary record.
GMB London Region press release 25th January 2021
GMB London Region press release 22nd January 2021
GMB London Region press release 6th January 2021
GMB London - NATIONAL FIVE DAY STRIKE BY GMB MEMBERS AT BRITISH GAS BEGINS AT 00.01 ON THURSDAY, 7 JANUARY 2021 OVER ‘FIRE & REHIRE’ CUTS IN PAY
GMB London Region press release 5th January 2021
GMB London Region press release 23rd December 2020