GMB Executive to consider official national lockout dispute with British Gas over April 1st mass sackings

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Official GMB national lockout dispute looms unless British Gas pull back from 1st April mass sacking of workers striking against 15% imposed pay cuts

Mr O’Shea - CEO of British Gas - has unilaterally created an April 1st cliff edge and is driving the company at high speed towards it, says GMB London 

A meeting tomorrow ( March 23rd) of the GMB Central Executive Council ( CEC) will be told that on Thursday, April 1st British Gas will sack members not accepting imposed 15% cut and changes to terms and conditions they have already overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected.

The CEC will consider declaring an official national lockout dispute with British Gas unless the company pulls back from the brink, it will also consider fixing further strike dates.

The April 1st deadline for the mass sackings is one of three rapidly approaching deadlines unilaterally fixed by British Gas in this long-running deadlocked dispute.

The next dates in the dispute are as follows: 

Today, Monday March 22nd, thousands of GMB members employed by British Gas in London and East of England are on strike - their 38th strike day. See below notes to editors for links to the press release on this and previous GMB London press releases.

  • Thursday, March 25th is the deadline for staff to sign acceptance of the imposed cuts. Those failing to sign will not be paid lump sum payments of up to £4,500 and other so-called ‘protected terms’ offered by British Gas.
  • Friday, March 26th to Monday, March 29th thousands ofGMB British Gas members take part in strike days 39 to 42. 
  • Monday, March 29th British Gas will give up to 12 weeks’ formal notice of termination for staff who have not accepted the imposed changes. 
  • Thursday, April 1st British Gas will sack staff who don’t accept the imposed cuts and other changes, with pay in lieu of the up to 12 weeks’ notice they are required to give.

Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Officer for Energy said:

“Mr O’Shea - CEO of British Gas - has unilaterally created an April 1st cliff edge and is driving the company at high speed towards it.

“Lockouts - where a company shut workers out of the workplace and won’t let them work  - have historically been used to bully workers into accepting cuts to their pay, terms and conditions. Official lockout disputes are rare in the UK. The last major GMB London official lockout dispute was at Wembley new stadium construction site in 2004.

“For the CEO to gamble the future of a profitable business on a strategic decision of mass sackings is illogical. It will leave everyone bewildered.

“It is all the more illogical in that from the recent talks at ACAS, Mr O’Shea apologised for undermining trust by accepting dodgy legal advice to go ahead with ‘fire and rehire’ and promised never ever to go down this road again.

“There is still time to pull back. Mr O’Shea should do what’s right for the business, customers and the workers and take April 1st off the table.”


Contact: Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Senior Officer for Energy 078 5003 6952

Notes to editors 

Previous press releases from GMB London Region

19 March 2021

GMB London - British Gas engineers in deadlocked national dispute over a 15% cut in pay rates and other imposed changes

11 March 2021

GMB London - Gas and electrical engineers will be on strike again from tomorrow in deadlocked dispute

5 March 2021

GMB London - British Gas engineers reject revised offer and go ahead with new strikes

26th February 2021

GMB London - British Gas strike days 23 to 26 go ahead as parent company Centrica announces £700 million profit

8th February 2021

GMB London - 12 more days to follow day 16 strike today at British Gas

3rd February 2021

GMB London - Dodgy legal advice led to strikes, British Gas CEO tells Parliament

1st February 2021

GMB London - GMB announce new four-day strike from Friday 5th February

28th January 2021

GMB London - British Gas is accused of lying about the ‘fire and rehire’ notices

25th January 2021

GMB London - Reckless British Gas leave more than 150,000 homes waiting for services

22nd January 2021

GMB London - GMB London Gas members burn "fire and rehire" notice in act of defiance

6th January 2021

GMB London - National five day Strike y GMB Members at British Gas begins at 00.01 ON Thursday, 7 January 2021 over ‘fire & rehire’ cuts in pay

5th January 2021

GMB London - The British public should ask why the CEO of a company that made operating profits of almost a billion pounds is provoking an engineers’ strike

23rd December 2020

GMB London - GMB presented the Scrooge of the Year Award 2020 to Mr O'Shea