GMB announce new four-day strike from Friday 5th February
New four days more strike dates at British Gas from Friday 5 February after twelve strike days in deadlocked 'Fire And Rehire' pay and conditions dispute
With over 170,000 homes in repair backlog and 200,000 service visits axed the company claim it is catching up after 24 hours is bogus says GMB London
Engineers and other staff in London and East of England, in the Field staff bargaining group in British Gas, will follow twelve days of national strike with a further four days on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th, Sunday 7th and Monday 8th February as the next stage in the 'fire and rehire' pay and conditions dispute. See notes to editors for links to previous GMB London press releases on the progress of the dispute.
A meeting tomorrow, (Tuesday, 2nd February) of the GMB Central Executive Committee (CEC), which follows the twelfth day today in the current series of strikes, will receive a report on the dispute. Elected CEC members from London and East of England will take part in the debate that will decide the next steps in this dispute.
In deciding on the next steps the CEC will assess the following:
- A profitable British Gas persists with the claim of a crisis to threaten and bully staff with 'fire and rehire'.
- Wishful thinking in the extreme persists that union members will ever acquiesce in pay 15% below agreed rates and other adverse changes.
- British Gas appear to have little concern for its customers. After 12 days of strikes, more than 170,000 homes are in a backlog for repairs and 200,000 planned annual service visits were axed. The company is misleading the media that it is catching up after 24 hours.
- GMB members in the Field Engineers bargaining group are solid after twelve days strike against the new contract. 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.
- Last week talks at ACAS were undermined by Mr O’Shea refusing a “drop-hands” approach to taking ‘fire and rehire’ off the table.
Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Officer for Energy, said
“These four days of strike will add to over 170,000 homes in repair backlog and 200,000 service visits axed.
“British Gas’s claim that it is catching up after 24 hours is bogus.
“Staff in the Field Engineers bargaining group will not accept the new contract. 12 days of solid strike action shows this. British Gas is kidding itself using an 83% that is mostly staff in other bargaining groups. The only votes that count are the Field staff so the 83% figure is not relevant.
“GMB in this industry started with town gas, moved on to natural gas and later on to digital technology. Change won't stop there.
“Members are not afraid to embrace a new future, with investment in the latest in diagnostic technologies, to pave the way for the "engineers of the future" programme.
“But members will not be bullied into the new contract.
“For the CEC, in deciding the next steps, it is looking likely that a protracted dispute looms."
Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Officer 078 5003 6952
Notes to editors
GMB London Region press release 28th January 2021
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 Region press release 5th January 2021
GMB London Region press release 23rd December 2020